RAWALPINDI  -  An out of the blue visit of two European Union observers to a Rawalpindi locality to monitor election preparations kept security agencies and the police on their toes on Friday.

According to sources, two EU observers identified as Virginie Muller of Luxembourg and Alberto Simonetti of the Netherlands, visited Chaklala Scheme-III without a prior notice to the local authorities and met with some candidates and voters and noted their point of views regarding the general elections.

The sources said the EU observers spent some time in the area before moving to Haripur to monitor the electoral preparations.

They said that the local police and the administration could not provide proper security to the EU observers as they had showed up in the Cantonment area without prior intimation.

According to the sources, intelligence agencies have submitted their report to the authorities concerned about the EU observers’ visit to the sensitive vicinity close to 10 Corps Headquarters that too without prior permission.

In the report, an intelligence agency had mentioned the EU observers paid a visit to the city without any prior permission and, due to the current security and law and order situation, any untoward incident could create embarrassment. The report also suggested that the movement of EU observers without prior permission may be restricted.

City Police Officer Abbas Ahsan also confirmed that the EU observers turned up in the city without bringing their visit into the notice of the police or any other law enforcement agency.

He said that the police have written a letter to the higher authorities to restrain the EU observers from visiting areas without prior intimation in the future.

EU OBSERVERS VISIT PML-N HQ

Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: European Union Election Observers Chief Michael Gahler visited the PML-N headquarters Friday morning and met Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, chairman, Central Media Committee of the party.

During an hour-long meeting, the EU Election Observers chief informed the chairman of Central Media Committee of the party about deployment of 60 observers in all parts of Pakistan to monitor the July 25 elections. He added seven members of the European Parliament would also visit Pakistan to monitor the elections.

Senator MushahidHussain appreciated the efforts of the European Union and the presence of the EU election monitors, hoping it would provide a level-playing field to all the parties so that the elections could be held in a free, fair and transparent manner in accordance with the Constitution.

Presenting the PML-N perspective, Senator Mushahid Hussain mentioned the facts and details of how the PML-N was being targeted legally, politically and administratively. In this regard, he presented three fact sheets to the visitors.

‘Murder of Justice’ fact sheet pertains to the trial and conviction of PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif. ‘Uneven Playing Field’ pertains to actions of the government and NAB targeting PML-N specifically. The third fact sheet pertains to the anti-rigging system devised by PML-N to expose and prevent rigging of any kind.

EU Election Observers Chief Michael Gahler also exchanged telephone numbers with the PML-N team to maintain regular contacts during the election campaign. Both the sides expressed the hope that only a free, fair and transparent election can strengthen democracy in Pakistan. Michael Gahler appreciated the media setup of PML-N at the party headquarters.

The EU election observers chief also invited Senator Mushahid Hussain to a meeting on July 24 with the seven members of the European Parliament, who are part of the monitoring mission, which he accepted with pleasure.

A delegation, led by PML-N Chairman Senator Raja Zafarul Haq and comprising Senator Nuzhat Sadiq and Senator Mushahid Hussain, will meet the delegation of Commonwealth election observers on July 21 in Islamabad.

 

ISRAR AHMED