Violence in KP polls

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THE polling for Local Government elections in seventeen districts of Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa (KP) was marked by scattered incidents of violence and attacks that claimed five lives and destroyed some polling stations.

The Election Commission had to postpone the vote in some areas of the 17 districts due to disturbances, including a suicide blast in Bajaur, abduction of polling staff in Bannu, a clash in Karak and a mob attack on Minister Shibli Faraz’s vehicle in Kohat.

The incidents of violence established the wisdom of the ECP decision to hold local government elections in the province in two phases and the media reports suggest overall arrangements were far better than the previous elections of 2015.

In fact, the Commission performed its functions responsibly but incidents of violence are a big question mark for KP Police, which is claimed to be a role model after reforms introduced by the PTI Government and the ability of the local administration of different areas.

Sensitive areas and sensitive polling stations are known to all and proper security arrangements should have been made to ensure maintenance of peace and order.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has levelled allegations of rigging in the elections and in this connection he also referred to some specific instances like stamping of ballot papers the night before polling and killing of an ANP candidate in DI Khan that need to be probed by the Election Commission.

However, the pattern of results nullifies the possibility of any systematic attempt aimed at rigging the elections.

 

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