ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The polling for 2nd phase of local bodies elections is underway on Thursday in which, a total of over 20 million voters are exercising their right of franchise in 12 districts of Punjab and 14 districts of Sindh.
The polling started at 7:30 this morning and will continue till 5:30 in the evening without any break.
The Punjab districts where the voting is in process include Sargodha, Gujranwala, Attock Sahiwal, Jhelum, Mianwali, Chiniot, Toba Tek Singh, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Sheikhupura and Khanewal.
While in Sindh, polling is being held in Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allayar, Matiari, Dadu, Jamshoro, Badin, Thatta, Sajawal, Shaheed Benazirabad, Nausharoferoz, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Tharparkhar.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has established a control room in Islamabad. The complaints can be lodged on telephone numbers 051-9210816-8 for Punjab and on 051-9210819 for Sindh.
The army is acting as a quick response force on the polling day.
The civil administration is primarily maintaining the law and order, and the army will be called in if a critical situation emerges. Likewise, Rangers personnel have been deployed outside the sensitive polling stations in Sindh.
The section 144 has been imposed and no gathering is allowed within radius of 200 meters of each polling station.
On Wednesday, the Secretary ECP Babar Yaqoob told media after attending a meeting to finalize the election arrangements that the ECP had finalized all necessary administrative and security measures to ensure free, fair and transparent polling process.
The Secretary ECP said that the election in 81 Union Councils (UCs) had been postponed as per the directives of the Supreme Court.
Babar Yaqoob said that LB polls had been postponed in five Municipal Committees, 18 Town Committees and 58 Union Councils of different parts of Sindh. He said that the decision to delay election was taken in the ECP’s meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Election Commissioner.
The Secretary ECP said that election in these UCs and Municiple Committees will be held after third phase.
Meanwhile, the ECP also postponed the local bodies election in seven UCs of Punjab’s Attock district. The elections were postponed in union councils Jalwal, Nara, Saghri, Pind Sultani and Mithial of tehsil Jand, Union councils Jhang and Bahtar of tehsil Fatehjang and Ward No-12 of tehsil Hazro in Attock district.
Now election in these UCs would be held in December.