ISLAMABAD    -   The Election Commission of Paki­stan (ECP) Thursday wrote a letter to Interior Ministry, requesting to increase Quick Response Force in addition to Flag March to avoid any untoward situation during by-polls.

The ECP, in its letter, request­ed to deploy army at four sensi­tive polling stations of Lahore and one of Multan. The ECP had earli­er requested for the deployment of Rangers but after realising the se­curity concerns it requested the au­thorities to increase security mea­sure, according to the letter written to Interior Ministry. These extra measures are being taken due to fast increasing political tempera­ture and polarisation in the coun­try, says the letter.

Meanwhile, the Election Commis­sion of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday directed the Punjab administration to take strict action against violators of code of conduct announced for the up­coming by-elections scheduled to be held in 20 constituencies on Sunday.

The directives were issued after a meeting of ECP presided over by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja.

The ECP vowed ensuring free, fair and transparent by-elections in Pun­jab. CEC personally spoke to the Chief Secretary Punjab, IG Punjab and senior officials of the concerned agencies on telephone and asked them to ensure implementation of election code of conduct at all cost.

Provincial Election Commission­er, Punjab, District Returning Offi­cers, Returning Officers and District Monitoring Officers were directed to inform law enforcement agencies in writing, if any miscreant spoil or intend to spoil the election environ­ment anywhere during the prepara­tion of the polling results.

The case of violators should be sent to the Election Commission so that action can be taken against such a candidate under election laws.

The ECP also clarified that it was the responsibility of the ECP and law enforcement agencies to conduct the elections peacefully and provide a peaceful environment to the voters during the elections. Therefore, all agencies should fulfill this responsi­bility as a national duty.