All polling booths in Lahore declared sensitive

February 17th, 2008 - 10:27 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Nawaz Sharif
By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, Feb 17 (IANS) All polling stations in Lahore district, where a tough contest is expected between two factions of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), were declared “sensitive” Sunday night, hours before the start of the voting in Pakistan. “All polling stations in Lahore have been declared sensitive and the army will be present in the city to maintain law and order,” a spokesman for the interior ministry told IANS.

He said army personnel will not be stationed at the polling stations but will reach there if called by the polling officer.

Lahore has 13 National Assembly seats that are expected to witness tough fight between former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML-Nawaz and prime minister hopeful Pervez Elahi’s PML-Quaid that is being backed by President Pervez Musharraf.

The declaration of the Lahore booths sensitive came after an incident of firing at a camp office of PML-N by unidentified motorcyclists who killed one person and injured seven. The PML-N workers reacting to the incident attacked a nearby camp of PML-Q, but the police intervened and thwarted the attack.

Both parties have set up their camps almost all over the city. However, according to the law, they cannot set up their camps within 200 metres from any polling station.

Besides 3,200 polling stations of Lahore, the government has declared more than 5,000 polling stations across the country as sensitive and about 1,000 have been declared as “most sensitive.”

The law enforcing agencies have been ordered to kill any miscreants, said the spokesman.

He said that many polling stations have been declared sensitive following security agencies’ reports, and some on the request of political parties and contesting candidates.

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