Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali has sent a report to the Chief Election Commissioner on Friday stating the ‘delicate security situation’ while the Chief Secretary and IG have warned that ‘terror from April to October. There is a fear that acts of terrorism will be accelerated.
The Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has sent this report in the light of the consultation meeting held on March 14 with the Chief Election Commissioner.
The nine-page report submitted to the Election Commission said that ‘the security situation is critical and additional security personnel are not available.’
The report also mentions the economic problems faced by the country and in this context it is said that constituencies are yet to be done. “In this case, these challenges should be resolved before the announcement of the general election date.”
Referring to the past, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Haji Ghulam Ali has said that a situation related to the election has arisen for which a solution was sought under the Constitution and the Election Act.
Earlier on March 14, after a consultative meeting with the Election Commission The governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had announced May 28 as the date for the elections in the province However, later the Chief Election Commission said that the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has not officially proposed the date of the elections.
However, in the report to be sent to the Election Commission, the date of the elections has been requested to be fixed by taking the relevant institutions including the Ministry of Defense and Interior into confidence. Apart from this, it has been asked to take into consideration the point of ‘operation against terrorists ending in a few months’.
The report on security in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has mentioned ‘increase in terrorist activities’ and ‘delicate security situation in the merged tribal districts’.
The report also mentions that cross-border terrorist groups have settled in the adjoining districts and that those living in these areas are 100% more vulnerable than those living in other districts.
Free movement of politicians and polling staff is not possible due to these threats. All political parties are afraid of threats and are saying that there is no level playing field for all. Terrorists target political parties while those brought back in the name of reconciliation process are released.’
Opposition to holding elections?
The governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has said in a report on other political parties that ‘almost all political parties have expressed security concerns and have opposed the holding of elections until the threat of terrorism is reduced. Sheikh Rasheed, Sirajul Haque, Aftab Sherpao and Imran Khan have also talked about holding general elections on the same day.
83 people, including policemen, were killed in a suicide attack in Peshawar Police Lines on January 31 this year (AFP).
Fear of ‘increase from April to October’ in terrorist activities
A meeting has been held in the Election Commission under the chairmanship of the Chief Election Commissioner regarding the elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In the meeting, Chief Secretary and Inspector General (IG) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said that considering the law and order situation, it cannot be guaranteed that the upcoming elections will be peaceful.
He has said that ‘terrorists are involved in Spring Offensive operations, so their operations become faster from April to October.’
Regarding the economic situation, Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said that the provincial government is facing a financial deficit of 19 billion rupees, while about 1.6 billion more will be required to hold the assembly elections and it is difficult for the provincial government to meet it. . The expenses of the Election Commission for conducting the election will be in addition to this.
It was informed in the meeting that the law and order situation is disturbed and the police is also facing lack of manpower to conduct the election. At the time of the 2018 elections, the law and order situation was much better than the current situation.
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The Election Commission has said that the institution is aware of the problems faced by the provincial government. The concerned parties have been consulted, the Election Commission will soon take a suitable decision in this regard.
In the report sent by the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the details regarding the incidents of terrorism in the past have been mentioned.
More than 100 terrorist organizations in the province?
The report states that 87 incidents of terrorism occurred in 2018, which was an election year, while 495 incidents occurred in 2022. In the election year 2023, terrorist incidents may exceed 600.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Tehreek-e-Taliban Swat and Tehreek-e-Taliban Bajaur are involved in terrorist activities. Tehreek-e-Taliban Muhammad, Tehreek-e-Taliban Tariq Gaidar Group, ISKP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Hizb-ul-Ahrar, Lashkar-e-Islami, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent are involved in terrorist activities. Lashkar Jhangvi and Hafiz Gul Bahadur are also involved in terrorist activities. There are more than 100 terrorist organizations in the province.
The report also warned of a large number of terrorists ready to infiltrate from the western border for operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and that ‘most threats are from across the border’.