PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Caretaker Minister for Information Musarrat Qadeem on Tuesday said that the government was making all efforts to conduct free, fair and transparent elections.

While speaking at a “Guest Hour Programme” organised by the Peshawar Press Club, the minister informed that more than 6,400 polling stations, out of the total 9,600, had been declared sensitive in the province.

She said that the government had chalked out a comprehensive security plan for elections, where more than 65,000 police personnel backed by civil defence volunteers and forest guards would be deployed at different polling stations in the province.

Besides, she said that coordination would be developed among police, law enforcement agencies and other relevant government departments to create a conducive environment for holding general elections in a peaceful manner. She said that the foremost responsibility of caretaker government was holding free and fair elections in a transparent way. She said that solid steps were being taken to implement the Election Commission code of conduct for the general elections. The minister also alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched to delay elections through various tactics but the government would foil all such attempts, as it aims at undermining the election process in a democratic manner.

She said security wasn’t that much bad as predicated earlier for holding of elections. However, she said that security forces would be remained standby to take control of sensitive locations to maintain law and order during the elections.

Referring a research study, the minister said that the women voters turnout was remained zero in more than 564 polling stations in the previous elections in the country in which around 55 per cent women had been deprived of their right to vote.

She also urged the media to play its role for creation of awareness about the significance of women vote in elections aimed at maximum possible participation of women in the forthcoming general elections.

“We will take appropriate steps to make sure a great turnout of women voters at the polling stations,” she vowed. She stressed the need that it was essential for women to fully participate in the elections and if they were again ignored in democratic process would be quit injustice with them.

Regarding the reshuffle in bureaucracy in the KPK, she said necessary reshuffling was made to ensure free and fair elections in the province.

About security arrangements for candidates contesting the elections, she said government would provide adequate security under the defined parameter. She urged the media to abstain from highlighting negative issues while keeping in view the sensitivity of the situation.