BARA: The tribal elders of Bara sub-division in Khyber tribal district have rejected the apprehensions of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government regarding security concerns in the merged districts before the provincial elections.

The KP government has sent a communique to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to delay provincial polls on 16 general seats of merged districts for 20 days owing to law and order and administrative concerns. The electoral body will hold an important meeting today (Wednesday) to review the KP government’s request.

Tribal elders in Bara including Malik Zahir Shah Afridi, Asghar Afridi, Ikhtiar Shah Afridi, Sohbat Khan Afridi, Sohail Afridi and others said while talking to media persons in Bara on Wednesday that the Khassadar and Levies personnel who have been merged with KP Police have devised a good strategy for security for the upcoming elections. They alleged that the KP government was not sincere with the people of merged districts and it was using different tactics to delay the polls.

The tribal elders said the police force of the merged districts is fully capable to provide security for the elections exercise. He said the local security personnel are well accustomed to the local situation and they are fully capable to tackle any security challenge. They said holding on provincial elections in the merged districts on scheduled time was vital to address their sense of deprivation. They said there is no need to delay the polls on the pretext of security concerns.

On June 3, the KP government recommended the ECP to postpone the provincial elections in tribal districts by 20 days.

The recommendation was made in a communique sent to the ECP by the Home and Tribal Affairs Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The communique says election scheduled on July 2 on 16 seats of KP Assembly in the merged districts may be postponed keeping in view the law and order situation, threat of cross border attacks by terrorists based in Afghanistan, threat of attack on political leadership of the country, problems created due to shifting of police powers to Levies and Khassadars and lack of training of Levies and Khassadar personnel about election duties.