ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) took notice on Sunday of the reported roughing up of a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate in Multan and directed the Punjab government to provide security to election candidates in Multan, Narowal and elsewhere.
In a letter to Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi, the ECP secretary has said that free and fair polls can only be achieved in a conducive law and order environment.
“There have been media reports that candidates have been harassed and physically threatened at various places. Incidents like the ones at Narowal and Multan require immediate corrective measures,” he said.
The letter also states that the relevant officials were made aware earlier of threats to political leaders and contesting candidates.
“It appears, unfortunately, that concerned authorities have yet to take the bull by the horns,” the letter reads.
Over the weekend, a PML-N candidate in Multan claimed in a social media post that he was beaten up by security officials and forced to change his vote.
“Our candidate in Multan Rana Iqbal Siraj was slapped and threatened of dire consequences,” PML-N supremo and former premier Nawaz Sharif said Saturday night from London.
Public is well aware that whose election symbol is jeep, Nawaz taunted and reiterated that PML-N’s candidates are made to contest polls on this [jeep] symbol.
PML-N supremo said, “It seems like lessons are not learnt from the history.” PML-N is being targeted by everyone and its workers are being disgraced, he stressed.
Nawaz had urged the caretaker prime minister and chief election commissioner to take notice of threats to candidates.
Later, PML-N’s Siraj explained in another video that the entire event was a result of misunderstanding. INP/NNI