PESHAWAR - Caretaker Chief Minister Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Justice (R) Dost Muhammad took notice of the irresponsible statement of Deputy Commissioner Peshawar Dr Imran Hamid Sheikh about having prepared 1,000 coffins for the polling day and directed the concerned authorities for disciplinary action against him under the relevant service rules.

In a statement issued from the CM House on Tuesday, the CM termed the remarks made by the DC in his press conference about having arranged 1,000 coffins for the polling day distasteful joke.

The KP government had earlier forbidden government officials to give statements on policy matters. The DC’s statement is a distasteful joke to spread fear and panic among the voters, the CM added.

The CM said that foolproof security arrangements had been made for safety of the voters on the polling day which, he said was the prime responsibility of the caretaker government.

Meanwhile, Dost Muhammad Khan said that the government was at advanced stage of preparedness for free, fair, transparent and neutral elections in the province.

“All arrangements required for the elections have been finalised”, he said during a presentation on the arrangements for the general election in the province on Tuesday. Focal Person Bahramand Jan briefed the chief minister about the status of his directives for free, fair, and transparent election in KP province.

The chief minister said that the caretaker set up had made all out efforts for peaceful, transparent and impartial elections in the province. Extraordinary measures have been taken to ensure that there is no irritant in the smooth conduct of the election throughout the province, he said, adding that security and administrative measures and the level of preparedness was up to the mark.

Dost Muhammad Khan said that he was aware of the designs of external enemies and the internal feuds among contesting candidates. He said that he was equally aware of the polarised society wherein there was hardly an end to political bickering. In the given circumstances, the government has not only taken foolproof security steps but have also made a number of extraordinary arrangements as precautionary measures to fill the gap of any security and administrative lapse in the general election, he said.

A comprehensive security and administrative plan has been evolved giving different responsibilities to different institutions. The repatriation of Frontier Constabulary and trained police personnel from the AJK has boosted overall security shield for the election. These additional reinforcements have been sent to different areas for onward deployment at sensitive polling stations. With this reinforcement, there will be least chances of any untoward situation, he expressed the hope.

The chief minister said that Army deployment inside and outside the polling stations would eliminate chances of rigging, giving equal playing field to all, adding that the voters are being facilitated to exercise their right of franchise in favour of their choice candidates and parties. The government wants to bring the people out of the mire to be free from any fear and use their vote freely, he said.

The government officials both at the polling stations and outside have been directed to prove their neutrality in the process of elections. No one would be allowed either to influence or rig the elections, he added.

Dost said that the code of conduct for the election would have to be followed in letter and spirit. No deviation under any circumstances by anyone would be acceptable, he warned. If government officials did any violation, they would be sent behind the bars and would be replaced by some other officials as the government has already planned replacement if needed, he said, adding that the government had prepared a workable plan-II as well in order to totally eliminate the influencing factors and rigging in the election in the province.

The chief minister revealed to have identified the perpetrators of previous terrorist attacks in KP, who, he claimed, would soon be brought to justice. He appealed to people to cooperate in the investigation. The government will not only reward them but their names would also be kept secret, he assured.

Dost Muhammad Khan said that the government had made extraordinary arrangements never made in the history including extended administrative and security presence throughout the province, additional redeployment in the sensitive polling stations, healthcare arrangements and provision of basic facilities of food and water at the polling stations.

The caretaker chief minister appreciated political sagacity and acumen of political leadership for their encouraging responses on previous terrorist attacks, as, he said, they controlled the situation effectively.

Dost Muhammad Khan reminded the people to understand value of their vote. The people should never let this opportunity go waste, he said, adding that the government would facilitate transportation if the voters in any area faced problems in reaching their polling stations in time. They should contact the Emergency Control Room from where they would be given transport enabling them to exercise their free choice in favour of their choice candidates and parties, he assured.