ISLAMABAD - Facing fury from mainstream political parties over the provision of ‘slack’ security in the wake of repeated terrorist attacks, the Chief Election Commissioner has attempted to pacify the leaderships of three grieved parties and extended his ‘wholehearted’ support to them.
In separate letters to Awami National Party President Asfand Yar Wali, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Balochistan President Sanaullah Zehri and Muttahida Qaumi Movement Deputy Convener Farooq Sattar on Wednesday, CEC Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim expressed his condolence over the terrorist activities causing loss of lives in Peshawar, Khuzdar and Hyderabad. He also denied having issued any instructions for the withdrawal of government security to the political leadership.
“I have been reading in the press that you attributed a letter to me. However, I have checked with the ECP office in Islamabad and Karachi and both have informed that no such letter has been received. Notwithstanding, the ECP has clarified with vehemence that it has not called for the withdrawal of security for your party leadership. In fact, we have reiterated our support for the demand of full security measures for all candidates,” the CEC letter to Wali reads.
After issuing instructions to the caretaker governments at the centre and provinces for the provision of maximum security to the politicians, the CEC told TheNation, “Politicians’ safety is my foremost priority.”
Recently, the ECP had ordered the withdrawal of additional security and protocol provided to Sharif brothers, Qaim Ali Shah and some other big guns, which triggered enormous reaction.
Ebrahim said that the ECP had ordered withdrawing additional protocol, not security, in certain cases.