The government of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) wants the Election Commission of Pakistan to postpone the due elections in districts of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). KP government thinks that law and order situation in some of the regions of erstwhile FATA is not satisfactory and that holding elections will expose the candidates to assaults and attacks from terrorists. But this reasoning of the KP government is not convincing enough. We have seen that despite terrorist attacks in previous elections the state ensured conducting of elections on time. Why is KP government then keen on delaying elections? Is it the fear of not fare well in the provincial polls that the ruling party wants to postpone the elections? Probably. Public sentiments in these areas, especially in Waziristans, tell us so.

The ECP rightly asks the KP government to explain the reasons for delaying the elections. The provincial authorities want the polling exercise to be delayed, at least, by twenty days. Will the provincial government be able to bring normalcy in the region within twenty days is the question that one needs to ask. If the apprehensions of the provincial authorities are on merit, then even twenty days delay is not appropriate. To put it bluntly, the anxieties of the provincial government about the deterioration in security situation come in after an escalation of the political crisis in the aftermath of shooting the workers of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM).

It is true that the situation there is tense. However, it is also true that PTM does not pose a threat to the law and order situation in the manner in which terrorist groups pose. Hence, the argument of the KP government to postpone the polls in the merged tribal districts over security situation holds no water. The government is left with no other choice but to hold elections on time. Further delay will not solve the situation on the ground in any case.