Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan’s election commission has sought the army’s assistance after an ‘armed clash’ between workers of the PML-N and PTI during the by-poll campaign in Johar Town in Punjab province which left several people injured on Sunday.
This comes after some video clips of the violence went viral which showed armed men and other people attacking each other. According to Dawn newspaper, the brawl that continued for some hours left six people injured who were shifted to nearby hospitals. The police were rushed to the site to ease the situation following emergency calls about men carrying clubs and damaging some vehicles in Johar Town. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has asked the police to take action against culprits without taking sides, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Sultan Raja, Pakistan’s Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar has sought a compliance report and directed the inspector-general of Punjab Police to ensure the arrest of suspects and conduct a transparent inquiry.
The Lahore Police told Dawn that the police force responded timely, raised security and also made some arrests when the clashes erupted between the workers of both political parties. He said the Johar Town police also registered a case against the ‘attackers’.
He said the PTI candidate for PP-167 had blamed the rival party workers for the scuffle and firing which left his nephew injured.
Lahore Operations DIG said the injured had been shifted to a local hospital and the police were awaiting medical reports to determine the nature of the injuries they sustained during the clash.
As a result of the violence in bypolls, the ECP on Monday sought Pakistan Army’s assistance for peaceful and smooth conduct of local government and by-elections in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
In a message to Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, CEC Raja sought the deployment of troops, The Express Tribune reported.
Raja has asked for security during the NA-245 by-polls in Karachi, 20 constituencies of Punjab and in PK-7, Swat constituency.
Besides this, he hailed the role of the troops in ensuring exemplary security at the most sensitive polling stations during the previously held general and local government and by-elections.
Raja also called upon the provincial government to ensure peaceful polling activity at all costs.
Local government polls elections are slated to take place in Sindh and Swat on June 26, whereas by-elections in Punjab will be held on July 17, the Tribune reported.
Moreover, another phase of elections in Sindh are scheduled for July 24, while by-polls in the NA-245 constituency will take place on July 27.