LAHORE - The police yesterday barred media persons from performing their duties at certain polling stations of the Union Councils that fall in the National Assembly’s constituency of the prime minister.

The media persons were permitted by the Election Commission of Pakistan through valid accreditation for covering the process of the local elections. But the police personnel stopped them from entering in the polling stations falling in NA-120 constituency that raised a big question mark.

The staff deployed by the ECP also did not allow reporters at a number of polling stations to observe or report the voting process.

Interestingly, as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reached at UC-70 in Sarai Sultan to cast his vote, media persons took the opportunity to enter the polling station. But as soon as the PM left the scene, the media again was barred from entering the polling stations despite presenting their accreditation cards issued by the ECP, which curbed the access to the information – a constitutional right of the citizens. The security staff at various union councils including 61, 68, 69, 70, 75, 122, 124, 164 and 166 also barred media form entering the polling stations.

A police man at polling station no 68, said he had no idea about the accreditation or the orders passed by the Lahore High Court.

The LHC, in its Friday’s order on the petitions of TV channels, had allowed the airing of the official and unofficial results of the election after an hour of the conclusion of the polling.

The polling ended on 5:30 pm at all the polling stations. The presiding officers of the Union councils took the ballot boxes and the prepared results to the Town Hall building where 36 returning officers were sitting to receive and compile the results. But unfortunately, there too the media was denied entry and the media persons left with no choice but to stay outside the premises of the building and wait.

Even the staffers of the presiding officers were not allowed entry at the building.

Till filing of this report at 12:36 am, the reporters were waiting outside the Town Hall building to get the results information.

Despite the lapse of seven hours after the end of the polling, the unofficial results were not provided to the reporters violating the access to the information right of the media and citizens.