ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), and Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) have unanimously opposed the holding of upcoming general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).
Sources said that in an important meeting held under the Chairmanship of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja in Islamabad regarding the conduct of polls in a peaceful manner, the ISI, IB and CTD Officials opined that the environment is not conducive for holding the elections in both provinces.
In the meeting, the Sector Commander Islamabad, the Sector Commander Punjab, and the Sector Commander Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from ISI; the Joint Director Punjab and the Joint Director Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from IB; and the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) CTD Punjab, and the DIG Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also participated.
The security agencies gave a briefing on the security situation.
Sources said that the security agencies told the participants that in addition to the police, 297,000 personnel from other law enforcement agencies (LEAs) will be required in Punjab while 56,000 more security personnel will be required in KPK.
The meeting was informed that about 67,000 polling stations will be established in both provinces.
It was told that about 52,000 polling stations will be set up in Punjab whereas 15,000 polling stations will be established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
It was further apprised that the District Returning Officers (DROs) will identify highly sensitive polling stations which will require security personnel from other institutions as well besides CCTV Cameras.
In the meeting, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) asked for 353,000 additional security personnel for the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elections.
Sources said that the security agencies informed the Election Commission about the threats and advised not to conduct the provincial elections in the prevailing security environment.
The ECP will reportedly decide on the briefing next week.
Meeting in Election Commission Secretariat Islamabad with Law enforcement agencies and Premium Intelligence agencies in connection with Elections in Punjab and KP under the chairmanship of Honourable Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan #ECP pic.twitter.com/r7VDBAdckp
— Election Commission of Pakistan (OFFICIAL) (@ECP_Pakistan) March 10, 2023