Baqaul Mohsin

BAHAWALPUR - As per initial plan finalised in Bahawalpur Division, 3,749 polling stations will be established to facilitate 4,561,839 voters while 239 have been declared "A" Class Sensitive Polling Stations, where special security arrangements will be made.

"However, the list of sensitive polling stations is being revised. Police and Punjab Constabulary personals will perform their duty in polling stations while Army and Rangers will remain standby to maintain the law & order. Army and Rangers will be deployed on sensitive polling stations only when it is directed by the Election Commission of Pakistan. The rules and regulations issued by the Election Commission will be followed in letter and spirit," said RPO Ghulam Rasool Zahid talking exclusively to TheNation.

The RPO said that the security situation throughout the division was under-control and no operation was required to ensure law and order. The police will play its unbiased role and observe their duties under its powers to ensure law and order during the general elections, he said. The police will remain totally unbiased during the elections and its attention will be to ensure peace, he said.

Regional Election Commissioner Mian Shahid said that 1,501,820 voters will use their right in Bahawalpur district where 3,008 polling booths will be established in 1,145 polling stations for five National Assembly and 10 Punjab Assembly seats. 1,595 polling booths for male and 1,413 female voters will be set up in 171 male, 171 female and 803 combined polling stations. At the stations, 10,385 polling staff will be deputed including 1,145 presiding officers, 6,160 assistant presiding officers and 3,080 poling officers. There are 115 sensitive polling stations in the district, he said.

About 1,841,640 people will use their right to vote in Rahim Yar Khan district on 1,551 polling stations for six seats of National and 13 of Punjab Assembly. 134 polling stations will be set up for male, 134 polling stations for female while 905 polling stations will be combined, and 4,273 booths will be established in these polling stations.

In Rahim Yar Khan district, 14703 officials will be posted at these stations out of which 1,551 will perform as presiding officers, 8,546 as assistant presiding officers and 4,273 as polling officers. 77 polling stations have been declared sensitive.

In Bahawalnagar district, 1,232,366 people will use their right to vote on 3,625 polling booths of 1,033 polling stations for four seats of National Assembly and 8 of Punjab Assembly, with 134 for males, 134 for females and 760 combined stations where 11,903 government officials will be deployed. Out of them, 1,028 officials will perform as presiding officers, 7,250 will as assistant presiding officers and 3,625 will perform their duties as polling officers. In the district, 47 polling stations have been declared sensitive.

District Coordination Officer of Bahawalpur Dr Naeem Rauf said that all the departments concerned had been directed to ensure implementation of the Code of Conduct issued by the ECP with zeal and enthusiasm. Closed circuit cameras will be installed on sensitive polling stations to monitor the polling process, he added.

He noted that all the departments had been directed to coordinate with one another and perform their duties honestly to make the election process transparent. He further said that a District Monitoring Cell will be established in his office which will remain intact with all tehsils of the district under the supervision of EDO agriculture.