Ensuring the security of general elections is paramount, especially in the face of rising concerns voiced by politicians. Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has taken a proactive step by forming a high-level committee dedicated to overseeing the security arrangements for the upcoming elections.
The Committee’s Formation
In a recent development, Federal Minister Shahid Ashraf Tarar has been appointed as the head of the seven-member committee, according to an official notification from the Prime Minister’s Office. The committee comprises the Ministry of Interior’s secretary and chief secretaries from all four provinces—Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab.
Challenges and Concerns
As the elections draw near, concerns over the security situation have intensified. Past election campaigns have been marred by violence, with candidates and voters becoming targets of bombings and gun attacks. The recent killing of an independent candidate during a campaign underscores the gravity of the situation.
Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister’s Warning
Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Maqbool Baqar issued a stern warning about the escalating security threats. He highlighted reports of multiple attacks on candidates, some even kidnapped in broad daylight, describing it as a “rising tide of crime.” This alarming trend necessitates robust security measures.
Security Landscape: A Six-Year High in Casualties
The security landscape in Pakistan has witnessed a surge in casualties, reaching a six-year high last year. More than 1,500 civilians, security forces, and militants lost their lives, as reported by the Islamabad-based Center for Research and Security Studies. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) poses a significant threat, with allegations against Kabul’s Taliban government of harboring TTP fighters.
Government’s Security Measures
In response to the heightened security concerns, the government plans to deploy thousands of security forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ahead of the February 8 general election. This strategic move aims to ensure a secure environment for the electoral process.
Call for Beefed-Up Security and Election Delay
Politicians have been vocal about their demands for increased security or a potential delay in the elections due to the uncertain law and order situation. The committee’s formation aligns with these concerns and demonstrates a commitment to addressing them promptly.
Securing the democratic process is a collective responsibility, and the formation of the committee by Prime Minister Kakar underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring a safe and transparent electoral environment. As the nation anticipates the upcoming elections, the focus on security becomes paramount to uphold the democratic values that Pakistan holds dear.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Why is there a need for a committee on polling security?
A: The committee aims to address rising concerns over the security situation for the upcoming general elections, ensuring a safe and transparent electoral process.
Q: What measures is the government taking to enhance security?
A: The government plans to deploy thousands of security forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to saturate the region before the elections on February 8.
Q: How significant is the threat from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)?
A: The TTP poses a significant threat, and the government has accused Kabul’s Taliban government of harboring TTP fighters, contributing to security challenges.
Q: Why are politicians calling for increased security or a delay in elections?
A: The recent incidents of violence against candidates and escalating security threats have prompted politicians to demand heightened security measures or a potential delay in the elections.
Q: What role does the committee play in safeguarding democracy during elections?
A: The committee, headed by Federal Minister Shahid Ashraf Tarar, plays a crucial role in overseeing security arrangements and addressing concerns to ensure a smooth and secure electoral process.