LAHORE: The local bodies’ polls in Karachi can be the most violent elections with dangerous vote at least in seven districts of Punjab, security services members told The Nation yesterday.

Polling for third and final phase of local government elections will be held in twelve districts of Punjab and six of Karachi (Sindh) on December 5.

The districts where polling will be held include Rawalpindi, Multan, DG Khan, Bahawalpur, Sialkot, Narowal, Khushab, Jhang, Ranjanpur, Muzaffargarh, Layyah and Rahim Yar Khan.

In Karachi, the elections for local bodies will be held in districts South, East, West, Central, Malir and Korangi.

Security services members told the paper, the warring militant wings of the political parties and banned outfit elements could create havoc on the vote day in all the six regions of Karachi.

“The election authorities must take extra-ordinary measures for bloodless vote in Karachi,” they strongly suggested.

The Rangers with its Rapid Response Force is already multi-tasked with security matters of the economic hub of the country and there would be a need for engaging the Army troops and specialized units of counter-terrorism of the military to build a security umbrella over Karachi on the vote day, they proposed.

“There is no region in Karachi which is marked as ‘Blue’ in the category of ‘Sensitive’. There is also no region which is marked as ‘Red’ in the category of ‘High Sensitive’. The trouble is that the security agencies have to create a new category of ‘High Red’ and ‘Most Dangerous’ with regard to the security grading of Karachi’s six districts local elections,” warned the security services members.

“Postponing the local elections till the completion of Karachi operation should never be an option but the government should keep in mind that four high-profile target killers had been picked up in a joint operation of Rangers and Counter Terrorism Department Sindh a day before yesterday. Two of them belonged to a mainstream political party of urban Sindh and another two belonged to two banned militant wings of Sunni and Shia outfits. All four were involved in the killings of members of the security forces and police in the province. There is no magic wand available with the intelligence agencies and their allied security services to check the profile of each citizen and monitor all new entrants to one of the most populace place on the earth” they argued.

There is only one possible option to hold peaceful local elections and that is engaging the army troops with their specialized counter-terrorism units for one day in the six districts of Karachi, added the security services members.

“The election authorities as well as the government offices concerned have been conveyed about the possibilities of bloodshed on a larger scale during the local bodies’ election for the six districts of Karachi,” they said.

In Punjab, they put District Jhang Multan, DG Khan, Bahawalpur, Muzaffargarh, Layyah and Rahim Yar Khan in ‘Red and Blue’ categories with some ‘Green’ areas in Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Narowal, Khushab and Ranjanpur.

“Field surveys will continue till the end of this month to identify a last moment threat in the election districts. The careful security threat assessment at this moment put District Jhang on high risk while DG Khan, Layyah, Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan are following the dangerous vote possibilities,” they added.

Few days back two of the mid-ranking leaders of a banned outfit were picked up in an intelligence-based operation from DG Khan. Explosives and small arms had also been recovered from a safe house of their facilitators. In similar operations more than four members of the banned organizations detained from Multan and Rahim Yar Khan recently.