ISLAMABAD: In response to political actors’ worries regarding the state of law and order, acting prime minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has established a high-level committee to supervise security for the elections scheduled for February 8.
According to an announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Shahid Ashraf Tarar, the federal minister for communications, railways, and maritime affairs, would serve as the chairman of the seven-member committee.
According to the notification, the chief secretaries of Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab are on the committee, along with the secretary of the Ministry of Interior.
The committee was formed just a few days before the elections, in response to some politicians who have called for increased security for themselves or a postponement of the polls because of the unstable law and order situation.
There have been violent outbursts throughout previous election campaigns, with numerous candidates and voters being the target of bombs and gunshots.
While campaigning in the province last week, an independent candidate for the provincial assembly and his two assistants were slain when a burst of gunfire struck their car, according to authorities.
In the meantime, acting chief minister of Sindh, Maqbool Baqar, issued an order on Tuesday stating that “there have been multiple reports of attacks on candidates” vying for office.
He added that there has been a “rising tide of crime” and that some people have been “kidnapped in broad daylight.”
According to the Islamabad-based Center for Research, the number of casualties last year reached a six-year high, with over 1,500 civilians, security personnel, and terrorists lost their lives.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is proscribed, poses the greatest threat to national security.
Islamabad has said that the Taliban regime in Kabul is harboring TTP fighters and enabling them to launch attacks on Pakistani territory without repercussions. Kabul has refuted the claims on several occasions.
Before the general election on February 8, the government plans to flood Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with thousands of security forces in an effort to ensure security.