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Final preparations under way across Pakistan for tomorrow’s polls

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The preparations were under way for the much awaited general elections which are scheduled to be held on Wednesday, July 25.

The local and foreign observers anticipate are all set and it will be one of the most-watched elections in the country’s history.

Leaders of all political parties and their candidates made intense, last-minute efforts to collect public support for the elections, as the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) deadline for electioneering expired midnight on Tuesday.

Nawaz urged the masses from Adiala jail through a audio message that the time has come for you to make this movement a success, and announce such a historic verdict which may sweep all those verdicts away that have made Pakistan a graveyard of justice.

Meanwhile, PTI chairman Imran Khan, who addressed the public in different parts of Lahore Monday night, lashed out at the opposing PML-N saying the former Punjab government carried out development “only in advertisements”.

According to ECP, Polling is expected to begin at 8am tomorrow and conclude without any break at 6pm. As many as 12,570 candidates are contesting for a total of 849 seats of national and provincial assemblies in the general election.

ECP notification added that around 1.6 million electoral staff are to be on duty on the election day. 449,465 policemen will be deployed, out of which 202,100 will be posted in Punjab and Islamabad while 100,500 will be stationed in Sindh. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 87,269 policemen will be on duty.

Approximately 800,000 law enforcement and army personnel will discharge duties for ensuring security on July 25.

The process of deployment of troops for free, fair and transparent conduct of General Election 2018 has been completed, the Inter-Services Public Relations said on Monday.

The ECP has planned special security measures for 17,007 highly sensitive polling stations throughout the country.

According to an ECP official, 5,878 of the polling stations declared as highly sensitive were from Sindh province, 5,487 from Punjab and Islamabad, 3,874 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, and 1,768 from Balochistan.

The official said a total of 85,307 polling stations have been set up in all the four provinces, FATA and the federal capital. 47,813 of the polling stations are in Punjab, 17,747 in Sindh, 12,634 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,420 in Balochistan, 797 in the federal capital and 1,896 in FATA.

The ECP has already issued its final polling scheme for national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies for conducting the general election in all the provinces and the federal capital.

Election material including ballot boxes, seals, polling booths, ink, ballot papers and other necessary items are being delivered to polling stations countrywide today.

The returning officers, who were handed the election material by the ECP amid tight security earlier this week, are delivering it to the presiding officers at the polling stations under the supervision of police and the army.

The presiding officers will complete all arrangements for voting by today, the electoral body said.

There will be a public holiday on July 25 across the country in order to facilitate the voting process.

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