MIRANSHAH : Pre-election activities are set to resume in earnest as the district administration lifted Section 144 in North Waziristan tribal district on Monday. The 30-day ban on public assembly was imposed almost a month ago on June 10. The district administration had deemed the move “imperative” for maintenance of law and order.

The action had drawn criticism from candidates in the run for the historic July 20 polls, which will be the first-ever elections on 16 general seats of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly from the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Candidates and parties, including the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), had repeatedly demanded the lifting of Section 144. They said the decision encroached upon their right to conduct pre-election campaigns and gave rise to questions over the fairness of the upcoming polls.

On Sunday, candidates of various political parties held a joint press conference at the Miran Shah Press Club and later issued a joint communiqué urging security forces to refrain from the electioneering process.