Pakistan election commission to review situation


Islamabad : Pakistan Chief Election Commissioner has called an urgent meeting of the Commission on December 31 to review the situation arising out of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the Election Commission Secretariat said.

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Rising incidents of violence after the assassination of Bhutto and decision of boycott from Muslim League-N of ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has created doubts about the elections, scheduled on January 8.

“It is a matter of common knowledge that in the aftermath of the unfortunate assassination of Benazir Bhutto on the December 27, the law and order situation in the country suffered deterioration,” an Election Commission statement said.

It said that election offices have also been burnt in the cities of Sukkur, Jamshoro, Naushero Feroze, Kamber Shahdadkot, Thatta, Ghotki, Jacobabad, Badin and Dadu districts of southern Sindh and the building along with the record, electoral rolls, transparent ballot boxes and voting screens were reduced to ashes.

Additionally, all activities pertaining to pre-poll arrangements including printing of ballot papers and logistics as well as training of polling personnel have been adversely affected.

Besides, as per reports from election officials in the tribal agency of Kurram, the law and order situation is not conducive for the conduct of poll, for which requests have been received for the postponement of Poll in two constituencies of Kurram Agency till restoration of normalcy in the area.

Similar position may emerge in Swat valley, where a contesting candidate for the Provincial Assembly has died in a bomb blast.

Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan Justice Qazi Farooq has expressed deep grief and shock on the sad and tragic death of Benazir Bhutto on his own behalf and on behalf of the Election Commission of Pakistan.