Despite escalating poll-related violence and security challenges, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikanadar Sultan Raja and Pakistan’s acting interior minister Gohar Ejaz have affirmed that the general elections will proceed as scheduled on February 8. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) convened a meeting to address the worsening law and order situation in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, attended by key officials and representatives from intelligence agencies.
CEC Raja emphasized the ECP's readiness for the February 8 elections despite security challenges, stating that disturbances would be dealt with by law enforcement agencies, including the army, without leniency. He expressed concern about the fragile law and order situation, particularly attacks on the ECP office and political parties in the two provinces, but assured that these incidents would not impact the electoral process.
Acting Interior Minister Ejaz echoed the commitment to hold elections on the announced date, emphasizing that there should be no doubts despite recent terrorist attacks in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. He stated that the government would ensure the elections proceed as planned, dismissing rumors of potential delays in certain regions due to security concerns.
With just a week left for the elections, Pakistan faces an increasing threat of attacks by militant groups, particularly in the provinces bordering Afghanistan. The recent killing of a candidate in the Bajaur district and a bomb blast at a political rally in Sibi city highlight the challenges and security risks associated with the electoral process.
(With Agency Inputs)