ISLAMABAD : Pakistan People’s Party yesterday complained to Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Mohammed Raza about the imposition of section 144 in erstwhile tribal districts claiming that it is hampering free and fair elections scheduled for July 20.

In a letter addressed to the CEC, PPP Secretary General Farhatullah Babar said: “Access to voters through public meetings by candidates and their parties’ leaders is of paramount importance to present to the people alternate political narratives that can change their lives.”

It urged that the executive authorities be directed to “refrain from imposing section 144 or otherwise banning entry” to outsiders in the tribal areas, the letter further said.

One such act, he said: “Is the denial to the candidates and their party leaders to freely reach out to the voters by imposing section 144.”

He said: “Beginning with South Waziristan the PPP leadership plans to visit the erstwhile tribal districts to campaign for its candidates.

However, it feels handicapped because of section 144 and disallowing outsiders’ entry as happened last week when a fact finding mission of HRCP, of which the undersigned was also a member, was disallowed from entering North Waziristan.”

The PPP leader said: “Kindly therefore direct the executive authorities to refrain from imposing section 144 or otherwise banning entry of political leaders in the area for public meetings.”