The caretaker government needs a reality check, followed by some evidence that it takes its responsibilities vis-à-vis security for the elections more seriously than has been in evidence so far, said an editorial in the Daily Times Monday.
"We have the strange conjuncture of arguably one of the bloodiest and most violent elections in our history and a seemingly toothless caretaker government attempting to paper over its manifest failure to discharge its primary duty - the holding of free, fair, transparent elections in an enabling secure environment where parties and voters are not cowed into submission, either during campaigning or on polling day.
"With five days to go for the exercise of the electorate's right to freely express its will, the prospects for the situation on May 11 are grim and frightening."
Noting that this election is turning out to be "one of the bloodiest in our history", the daily cited a think tank report to say that since January till the end of April this year, 2,674 people have been killed.
"Admittedly, the toll includes militants targeted by the security forces and drone strikes, as well as personnel of the security forces engaged in operations against the terrorists, and also casualties on both sides in the nationalist insurgency in Balochistan. However, the bulk of the dead are citizens and political leaders and workers of the three secular-leaning mainstream parties, the PPP, MQM and ANP."