In anticipation of the upcoming general elections in Pakistan scheduled for February 8, 2024, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has undertaken meticulous planning, categorizing a total of 92,500 polling stations across the country.
The ECP has classified polling stations into three categories: highly sensitive, sensitive, and normal. Out of the total, 17,500 polling stations are deemed highly sensitive, 32,508 are categorized as sensitive, and 42,500 are considered normal. This categorization aims to streamline security measures and ensure the smooth conduct of the electoral process.
Further classification into A, B, and C groups is based on the sensitivity levels of these polling stations, providing a nuanced approach to security considerations. Notably, 6,599 highly sensitive polling stations in Punjab and 4,430 in Sindh are set to be closely monitored through the use of CCTV cameras, addressing concerns about potential unrest.
In addition to this, Balochistan has 2,038 highly sensitive polling stations, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa follows closely with 4,344. Meanwhile, Punjab has 15,829 sensitive polling stations, Sindh has 8,030, Balochistan has 2,068, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has over 6,000 under this category.
Responding to inquiries, the ECP mentioned that the official polling scheme will be unveiled 15 days before the scheduled elections. This strategic timing allows for last-minute adjustments and ensures a transparent and well-organized electoral process.
To further enhance the integrity of the elections, the ECP has released a comprehensive code of conduct for security officials who will be deployed during the general elections. It is important to note that this code of conduct applies specifically to security personnel, excluding the Armed Forces and Civil Armed Forces.
The code emphasizes the responsibility of security officials to carry out their duties in strict accordance with the law. Furthermore, it underscores the importance of cooperation with presiding officers, returning officers (ROs), and polling staff. This cooperative effort is crucial in maintaining order, facilitating the electoral process, and upholding the principles of a free and fair election.