Lahore: Pakistan Peoples Party Punjab has pointed out that if the ECP had accepted the demand of the Opposition Parties in the first phase the loss of precious lived could have been averted besides the dangerous law and order situation that reared its ugly head due to the absence of the Army and Rangers at many polling stations.
While welcoming the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan regarding the deployment of Army and Rangers personnel during the second phase of local bodies elections in Punjab and Sindh, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President Punjab PPP said that the Commission had at last seen the rational as per the demand of the all the Opposition Parties.
He also pointed out that the deployment would have definitely discouraged those scrupulous elements who were determined to use petty tactics in an attempt to get their candidates elected. The seriousness of the allegations now being raised would have also been addressed to a great deal, he added.
He reiterated the demand of deployment of judicial officers as the District Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers to ensure the holding of free, fair and impartial local bodies’ elections. The acceptance of this demand by ECP will address all the reservations of the Opposition parties regarding the fairness and transparency of the polls, he added.
DCOs serving as DRO will not be able to ensure the impartiality of the elections because their style of working is synonymous to more loyal than the king, he maintained. He added that DCO offices were being used as instruments by the ruling Party to carry on tens of millions of rupees development works on purpose to influence the voters. DCO are also changing the polling stations to suit the convenience of the PML -N candidates in sheer violation of the rules, he pointed out.
He also appreciated the reported decision of the ECP to suspend all the arms licenses during the elections of second phase hoping it would also be replicated in the third phase as well. The suspension of the arms licenses would help in saving the lives of many people those might fall prey if such step was not taken.
He expressed the hope that the ECP would also issue instructions in the next hearing regarding the implementation of the Kissan Package that was definitely favoring the ruling Party candidates as they were using it as part of their election campaign. Such brazen violation of the elections rules is not acceptable when elections schedule has already been announced, he argued.