MUZAFFARABAD: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mughal has said that strict security measures have been adopted to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the region, polling for which, will be held on July 21 from 8 am to 5 pm without any break.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, he said army would take control and supervise the security of polling staff and voters besides transportation of the polling material in 29 constituencies in Azad Kashmir while federal ministry of interior would be responsible for security arrangements in 12 refugees constituencies located in Pakistan.
“Approximately 36 thousand personnel of army, rangers, frontier constabulary (FC) and police have been deployed in 29 constituencies in AJK to maintain security at polling stations while the quick response backup force will be available in the radius of 10 miles of each polling station besides patrolling contingents of army and police,” the CEC said.
He said more than 2.6 million voters would cast the vote to elect 49 legislators, out of which, 2.23 million were in Azad Kashmir and a total of 23,394 polling staff including 4462 presiding officers, 6310 polling officers and 12622 polling assistants were posted to conduct the polling.
He said a total number of 5429 polling stations and 8048 polling booths were established for 29 constituencies of AJK and 12 refugee constituencies in different areas of four provinces of Pakistan.
He said that 14 constituencies had been declared sensitive and four as most sensitive.
He said 4 to 6 army personnel were deployed at sensitive polling station besides the police officials while 8 army personnel were deployed at most sensitive polling station besides patrolling forces and quick response forces in the radius of 10 miles of each polling stations.
He said the election commission had established central control room at Muzaffarabad to monitor the elections and announcement of results, while police, army and administration had established 3 other central control rooms to monitor security and law and order while control rooms were also established at divisional and district levels by commissioners, deputy commissioners and regional police heads to maintain and monitor security.
Four major parties including Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN), Pakistan Peoples party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and all Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (MC) are in the run for 41 seats of AJK Assembly.
A total of 423 candidates are contesting out of which, 221 on party tickets and 402 as independent candidate but the contest is expected between PMLN, PPP, and an alliance of PTI and Muslim Conference. –APP