Pak EC rejects Bhutto's demand for polls under Army's supervision

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Islamabad, Dec 25 (UNI) The Pakistan Election Commission has turned down Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairperson and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's demand that arrangements for the upcoming general elections should be handed over to the Army.

''The commission was not considering handing over election supervision to the Army,'' The News quoted Election Commission Secretary Kanwar Muhammad Khan Dilshad as saying.

Ms Bhutto had earlier stated that her party would not accept deployment of volunteers for polls supervision, adding that if police strength was not sufficient then the Army should be called to conduct the elections.

The Election Commission would announce a list of normal, sensitive and very sensitive polling stations tomorrow and the Pakistan Army might be deputed at ''very sensitive'' stations, Mr Dilshad said.

Political observers are attaching great importance to Ms Bhutto's recent demand of handing over election arrangements to the Army. In the past all opposition parties, including the PPP, had been opposing any role of the Army in conducting the elections.

Mr Dilshad said the commission had ordered an inquiry into all complaints lodged by the PPP but the party had not provided it with any list of the so-called ghost polling stations or did not single out any polling station as such.

In Balochistan, 1,170 polling stations have already been notified as ''very sensitive''. Polling stations in other three provinces were being scrutinised and the whole process of categorisation would be completed tomorrow.


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