Adherence to ECP code of conduct for upcoming general elections also falls under Section 144

Police officers guard a street where shipping containers have been used to block the road leading towards the Red Zone and parliament building, in Islamabad, April 3, 2022. — Reuters

LAHORE: The provincial government in Punjab has imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) across the province in the wake of security risks ahead of the February 8 general elections, which have gripped the entire country as the clock ticks towards the polls.

The provincial home department Tuesday evening notified of imposing Section 144, according to which there would be a complete ban on the exhibition of arms and aerial firing in Punjab, which is the most populous province and the heartland of politics. 

Moreover, the adherence to the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) code of conduct for the upcoming polls also falls under the imposed law, the notification read.

It stated there are reports of security threats and the likelihood of "terrorism" and quarrels between election candidates during the ongoing electioneering.

According to the home department's notification, Section 144 has been imposed till February 12 and any violation would result in action by the authorities.

It may be noted that the ECP has sought 277,000 army personnel to be deployed across the country to maintain security, and law and order situation across the country during the upcoming polls, and the Ministry of Interior Tuesday has remitted its summary regarding the deployment of forces.

With the year 2023 culminating as one of the worst, since 2015, in terms of terror-related incidents, the country's upcoming polls are surrounded by doubts over the security and safety of both candidates and voters.

Despite several violent incidents, and attacks on candidates, political parties have been continuing their electioneering efforts to woo voters, however, several politicians have voiced concerns over the law and order situation — with some even moving the Senate seeking poll delay in this regard.

After attacks on candidates of multiple political parties earlier this month, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has also formed a high-level committee to oversee security for the polls.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Army has also vowed to provide necessary military assistance for the upcoming general elections.

Source link