LAKKI MARWAT – Speakers at a forum underlined the need to set up separate polling stations for females, launch voter education programme and stop using financial resources ungrudgingly by candidates to ensure holding free, fair and transparent elections in the country. 
The event was arranged by Strengthening Democracy through Parliamentary Development SDPD-UNDP at the district headquarters complex Tajazai on Saturday. Office bearers of political and religious parties and civic bodies spoke on the occasion.
Prominent among them were provincial vice president of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Zarin Zia, Mamraiz Khan, Ajmal Khan and Imranullah Marwat of Awami National Party, Maulana Bashir Ahmad Haqqani of JUI-F, Malik Meer Shah and Malik Jehanzeb Hasan of Jamat-e-Islami, former nazims Haji Shah Sawar and Abdul Mutlib, Free and fair Election Network (Fafen) district coordinator Farmanullah Khan, social activists Izzat Khan and Saeedur Rehman and Fareedullah Shah and Azeem Khan of All Teachers Association.
“Before going to general elections there is the need to launch across the board accountability so as to pave the way for pious and honest people to reach parliament,” they said. They said that accountability of MPs and election aspirants should be the slogan of all for the upcoming polls.
They suggested holding polls under the supervision of army and media and said that people equipped with qualities of honesty and spotless character should be included in the interim set up.
“The caretaker government should not approve uplift schemes nor should it spend funds from government’s kitty on new developmental projects,” they said.
They also urged the need for arranging seminars and workshops at union council level to educate voters especially females about their rights and responsibilities and how to use the right of franchise to elect honest candidates.
They demanded that MPs should be restricted to legislation only and they should not be given funds for launching uplift schemes in their respective constituencies. “Such funds should be put on the disposal of concerned government departments and elected representatives should not be allowed to interfere in their affairs,” they said.
“Only constituents have the right of accountability of their elected representatives therefore let them to reject corrupt people and elect honest ones through the power ballot”, they maintained. They told that the election commission should take stringent measures to stop use of money by candidates to influence voters to cast votes in their favour.
They said that females should be encouraged to poll their votes and election in those union councils should be declared cancelled where female constituents have been barred from casting their votes.
They added that implementation of election laws and code of conduct for candidates in letter and spirit would make the process of elections free, fair and transparent.