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Pakistan Elections 2013 Security News & Discussions

Discussion in 'Pakistani Siasat' started by Last Hope, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Last Hope

    Last Hope SENIOR MEMBER

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    QUETTA: Amidst surging pre-poll violence in Balochistan, Pakistan Army and paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) will launch a 15-day-long ‘targeted operation’ across the volatile province in order to ensure the May 11 elections are held in a peaceful atmosphere.

    “The operation will begin 10 days before the elections,” provincial Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told a select-group of journalists at a special briefing on Sunday. However, he clarified that army troops would not be deployed at the polling stations.

    “The army is being called out to assist the law-enforcement agencies to build confidence of political parties and their supporters in the administration,” Durrani said. “As many as 6,500 army soldiers, 17,000 FC men, 28,000 police and 15,000 Levies (tribal police) will be deployed in all 30 districts and 92 tehsils of the province,” he added. “Quick Response Units will provide security to the election staff and voters.”

    A senior military official told The Express Tribune that unlike the other provinces, the army would have a different role in Balochistan. He did not elaborate. This comes a day after thousands of schoolteachers refused to perform election duties in the ‘sensitive districts’ of the province due to threats from Baloch separatist groups.

    A medley of Baloch separatist groups has vowed to sabotage next month’s elections. They have stepped up attacks on election candidates and their supporters since the announcement of election schedule in order to deter them from taking part in the elections.

    Caretaker Chief Minister Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai, meanwhile, said that he was satisfied with the security arrangements being put in place for peaceful elections in the province. He has recommended aerial surveillance by army to keep a tab on the movement of insurgents and saboteurs.

    Home Secretary Durrani added that army helicopters would conduct surveillance of the towns bordering Iran and Afghanistan.

    On Saturday, one of the three factions of the Government Teachers Association, Balochistan – which claims to represent over 6,000 schoolteachers – refused to perform election duties in 11 districts of the province citing security reasons.
    However, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) warned that disciplinary action would be taken against any teacher who refused to show up for election duty. Home Secretary Durrani said that they have a contingency plan in place for such an eventuality. “We’ll send the employees of other provincial government departments for election duties,” he added.

    The decision to launch the ‘targeted operation’ was prompted by frequent complaints by nationalist and mainstream political parties – including Balochistan National Party-Mengal, National Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Peoples Party and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – that their candidates were unable to campaign freely in some districts due to the fluid security situation.

    Political parties are especially concerned about the security situation in the Baloch-dominated areas of the province where violence continues unabated.

    On Saturday, four workers of Jamaat-e-Islami were wounded in a crude bomb attack on their office in Sibi. Police also defused two explosive devices which were planted outside the houses of two election candidates in Pasni and Turbat. Similarly, police also defused three bombs planted near the house of a National Party candidate, Kabda Khan, in Pasni.

    Police has also received complaints of harassment of voters and election candidates by the Balocistan Liberation Army and Lashkar-e-Balochistan in Khuzdar and Qalat districts.

    In Quetta however, election activity is gradually gathering momentum. Candidates from PkMAP, JUI-F, PML-Q, BNP and PML-N are defying threats from insurgents and holding corner meetings under the protection of police and FC.

    The security situation in the provincial capital is far from satisfactory. On Sunday, an election rally of Shams Mengal, an independent candidate for PB-5 (Quetta), was attacked with a homemade bomb on Sariab Road.

    “The bomb was planted in a bicycle in the Faizabad neighbourhood of Sariab Road,” police official Mohammad Sharif told The Express Tribune. “At least three people, among them two children, were slightly wounded in the blast,” he added.

    According to the Bomb Disposal Squad, the explosive device weighed around 4kg and it was remotely detonated. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bomb attack.
     
  2. Horus

    Horus ADMINISTRATOR

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    Throw them back to Karzai until the elections are done, we'll fix them up later.
     
  3. Slav Defence

    Slav Defence THINK TANK VICE CHAIRMAN: ANALYST

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    very good move by pak army but our what the hell is our political parties doing?
     
  4. Jango

    Jango SENIOR MODERATOR

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    Army has been deployed in Gwadar, Dera Bugti and a few other districts.

    ARmy will be deployed in other districts in a couple of days.

    IMO, the only choice left and a very necessary choice.
     
  5. SQ8

    SQ8 ADVISORS

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    This may actually turn out to be a bad move and it may end up further polarizing the Baloch. The ("Punjabi")Army is seen as the enemy to many Baloch now and its presence may give an excuse to parties like the BNP to allege rigging and press for independence and nothing else.
    And as much as we would like to point out that Balochistan has no India to support it.. the likelihood of US forces or otherwise landing under a UN mandate(which Pakistan cannot deny) as peacekeepers is fairly high and an eventual North South Sudan type separation a possible reality.
     
  6. Jango

    Jango SENIOR MODERATOR

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    Nah...I don't think that would be the case since the Baloch parties themselves have been clamoring for Army presence, the teachers present there also demanded Army presence...and the Caretaker PM is also Baloch.
     
  7. Areesh

    Areesh ELITE MEMBER

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    Sane decision. Should be applied to Sindh too.
     
  8. Last Hope

    Last Hope SENIOR MEMBER

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    Army interference would only support the agenda of Separatists and their sympathizers. General public would be longing to wait for security, and the political workers are demanding protection. I don't see the 'Punjabi Army' controlling Balochistan sentiments being fed here.
     
  9. Last Hope

    Last Hope SENIOR MEMBER

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    ISLAMABAD: The army on Monday deployed its troops in nine sensitive districts of Balochistan and is set to complete the process in the remaining 21 districts on Tuesday, a senior military official told Dawn.

    The deployment in Kalat, Khuzdar, Kharan, Washuk, Awaran, Mastung, Panjgur, Turbat and Gwadar followed an approval of a plan for deployment of troops across the country during elections given at a special corps commanders conference. Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani presided over the conference at the General Headquarters.

    The deployment was aimed at protecting candidates and voters and providing a safe and secure environment on the polling day.

    More than 6000 army soldiers will be deployed across Balochistan.

    The military official said the troops would not be deployed inside polling stations; they would be stationed at strategically suitable places to act as quick response force as and when required.

    According to him, security requirements of the Election Commission (ECP) and the federal and provincial governments were discussed at the meeting. The security plan was based on information about sensitive and most sensitive polling stations provided by the ECP and the overall law and order situation in the country.

    The deployment in Balochistan was made on a requisition by the provincial government. Defence Secretary Lt Gen Asif Yasin Malik said at a meeting of the ECP on April 25 that the deployment of troops should be discussed by the provincial governments.

    What prompted the government to seek deployment of army troops in addition to civil armed forces was a surge in pre-poll violence across the country.

    Since April 21, when election campaigns formally started, the Taliban and other militant groups have carried out over 20 attacks on political parties, killing 48 people and injuring over 200.

    Four people were killed when an election convoy of PML-N leader Sardar Sanaullah Zehri came under a bomb attack in Anjira area of Khuzdar in Balochistan on April 16. Mr Zehri survived the attack, but his son, brother and nephew and a guard were killed. At least 25 people were injured.

    The banned Baloch Liberation Army had claimed responsibility for the attack.

    The worsening law and order situation had also led to refusal by teachers in Balochistan to perform election duties — a decision which was reversed after talks with the government.

    The continuing violence ahead of elections was seen by many as an attempt to sabotage the electoral process.

    A statement by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan issued on March 18 said it all. Declaring elections part of an un-Islamic democratic system bound to serve the interests of infidels and enemies of Islam, it warned voters to stay away from political rallies of three liberal, democratic parties — PPP, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Awami National Party.

    The continuing attacks on election offices of political parties and their candidates are seen by the ECP as a failure of the provincial governments, which have been asked to ensure that candidates, leaders and voters are protected. The PPP, ANP and MQM, the main target of the attacks, however, appear to have been undeterred by terrorist threats and have called for holding of elections on time.
     
  10. Jango

    Jango SENIOR MODERATOR

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    17 political parties out of 22 in SIndh have agreed to Army being deployed there.
     
  11. United

    United SENIOR MEMBER

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    This election is test for us and the world is watching closely.
    Nothing should be sparred.
     
  12. Jango

    Jango SENIOR MODERATOR

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    Almost 50k soldiers to perform duties on election day.

    The ballot papers will be transferred to respective cities on PAF aircraft.

    Quite alot of measures being taken.
     
  13. muse

    muse ELITE MEMBER

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    ANP, PPP and MQM will nevertheless have a credible case to make that these elections were rigged, were neither free nor fair -- and I think that's a position that most would agree with - unfortunately the duffers of the Pakistan Army have once again made it possible that free and fair elections will not be held in Pakistan.
     
  14. Jango

    Jango SENIOR MODERATOR

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    And how so...?
     
  15. muse

    muse ELITE MEMBER

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    Their claim is hat they have not been provided security for electioneering - and it's a valid claim, especially in the light of 700 policemen being made available to Tabllegi Jammat