Lahore: Free, fair, and transparent elections are the prime responsibility of the police and the next five weeks are the most crucial in this regard. The officers will have to work day and night. The police have nothing to do with any political party while the national leaders and key personalities would be provided foolproof security.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab, Aftab Sultan, issued these directions while addressing a high-level meeting of the newly-appointed RPOs at the Central Police Office (CPO) today.
The Punjab IGP said that the new officers are appointed on key positions keeping in view their impartiality. He also directed all the RPOs and DPOs to take the charge of their posts in their respective regions by midnight today.
Aftab Sultan also directed the RPOs to implement the Code of Conduct of the Election Commission of Pakistan and ensure proper ban on display of arms and take strict action in case of aerial firing or show of weapons. The violators should be handled strictly.
During the meeting, it was decided that all the national leaders should not hold meetings or processions in one day and at a similar place so that they would be provided foolproof security.
The concerned DPOs would have to be informed three days before holding of any meeting or procession. It was also decided that bulletproof rosters would also be installed for the important leaders at the public meetings. A comprehensive plan should be implemented for the security of the stage keeping in view the distance and height of the speaker and the audience.
The Punjab IGP said that arms and weapons would be allowed to those security men, who would be in uniform, along with the national leaders. If the candidates for the National and provincial assemblies wanted to keep security guards with them, they would be allowed but only in case they get trained guards from registered security companies. The candidates would have to get clearance of the guards from the DPOs concerned. The IGP also said that the DPOs are empowered to transfer all the SHOs and Moharras in their respective districts and impartial and new faces should be given the priority in this regard. There would also be complete ban on all types of vehicles with tainted-glasses.
No one would be allowed to enter the polling stations with weapon and no policemen would also be given the entry inside the polling station. The police would remain on-guard outside only outside the polling station. The police can enter any polling station only in case of any untoward happening. The Army and Pakistan Rangers units would remain on-call.
The officers were also asked not to request for leave as no leave would be granted to anybody because of the election duties. During the meeting, it was also decided that strict monitoring of the persons in the fourth schedule would be ensured while the police would actively chase the proclaimed offenders. A police officer of DSP rank would keep close liaison with the media men at the district level.
The IGP also informed the officers that election funds would be earmarked to them within next two days.
All the training colleges of the Punjab Police would be closed down four days before the elections-day and the policemen would be deployed on election duties.
The Punjab IGP also directed the Additional-IG Sohail Khan to coordinate with PTI Chief Imran Khan in order to finalise the security plan for him.
It was further decided that the police would also advertise the code of conduct constituted for the candidates of the election 2013 on the media.
Aftab Sultan also directed the RPOs to ensure proper security of the minorities in their respective regions and all necessary steps should be taken to maintain law and order.
The IGP also warned that any type embezzlement in the election funds would not be tolerated and these funds should be utilized in transparent manners. On this occasion, the IGP also said that the police department would have to prove impartiality besides maintaining public order in the elections.