LHC seeks report on Rangers deployment

RAWALPINDI The Lahore High Court (LHC), Rawalpindi bench, on Tuesday directed the government lawyers to get instructions from federal and Punjab governments in a petition moved by former federal minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed seeking deployment of either Rangers or Army for upcoming by-elections in NA -55. LHC Justice Asad Munir directed an Assistant Advocate General (AAG), representing provincial govt and a standing counsel representing federal government to seek instructions and respond to the petition of Awami Muslim League President till Feb18. Rashid Ahmed through his lawyer Sardar Abdul Razzaq filed the petition and made Secretary Defence, Chief Election Commissioner, Chief Secretary of Punjab and Returning Officer for NA-55 Rwp-VI as respondents. In his petition, he maintained that the deteriorating law and situation in the city call for holding elections under army as the government had failed to maintain law and order situation. Sheikh Rasheed accused the provincial government of pre-poll rigging, saying that the entire administration and state machinery including the police were being used to rig the elections and to support the PML-N candidate. He also blamed that despite several requests of the petitioners for provision of security he was not provided adequate security that resulted in the murder attempt on his life and murder of his three guards. The petitioner further stated that he had also written to the Election Commission for deployment of FC, Army or Rangers and CEC wrote to the Punjab Chief Secretary in this regard but noting had been done. He said that 36 polling stations had been declared as sensitive by the Election Commission that also needed special security arrangements.

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