‘Hold KP polls on Oct 8’, governor urges ECP

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: In a fresh development, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali Friday urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold the general elections in the province on October 8, the same date the electoral watchdog has announced for Punjab, keeping in mind a rise in terror activities.

The governor, in the letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, said it would be in the “best public interest as well as in the interest of the state” if polls were held in October instead of a previous date that he had suggested — May 28. The ECP’s decision to withdraw an earlier announcement for Punjab elections came after security and financial bodies refused to back the commission during the upcoming polls.

The governor noted that recently, a fresh wave of terrorist activities has been taking place in the northwestern province on a daily basis. He said major terrorist activities include cross-border fire in North Waziristan, an improvised explosive device (IED) blast on an army vehicle in Kohat, heavy exchange of fire with terrorists in South Waziristan on March 15, unknown terrorists fire on Khyber’s Bara Police Station on March 19.

Citing further incidents, he said a terrorist attack took on a police station in DI Khan followed by a search operation by the army, resulting in the martyrdom of three army soldiers on the night between March 21 and 22. The governor, in the letter, further said that since the ECP has postponed the election date for the general elections of Punjab to October 8, it is also suggested that the same date should be appointed as the election day for the general elections in KP.

It is pertinent to mention here, the government has welcomed the election commission’s decision to postpone the polls till October, but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has vehemently rejected it and announced challenging it in the Supreme Court.