Governor fixes May 28 for KP assembly polls.

ISLAMABAD -- Khyber PakhAtuAnAkhwa (KP) Governor Haji GhuAlam Ali on Tuesday fixed May 28 as the date for general polls to the provincial assembly, without officially communicating the decision to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The decision to set the poll date was announced by the governor during a brief interaction with reporters after his meeting with ECP representatives for final consultation.

Informed sources told Dawn that no specific date or dates were proposed by the commission during the meeting, but the governor observed that election campaign during Ramazan would not be possible and candidates should have sufficient time for campaigning after Eid-ul-Fitr.

An official said a letter would be written to the KP governor asking him to officially convey the poll date to the ECP.

The poll date fixed by the governor comes exactly four months after the dissolution of the assembly and coincide with the silver jubilee of Pakistan's emergence as a nuclear power.

Informed sources told Dawn that the KP governor during a meeting with the commission expressed his reservations over the prevailing security situation in the province. Besides police lines tragedy, he said, police in different districts of the province were faced with the challenge of terrorist attacks. He noted that the electoral candidates would find it difficult to run poll campaign. He said both the contesting candidates and the voters should be protected.

Before attending the meeting at the ECP, the KP governor called on President Arif Alvi and discussed with him matters relating to the holding of general elections in KP in the light of Article 224(2) of the Constitution and the March 1 order of the Supreme Court.

President Alvi advised the governor to implement the SC order in letter and spirit wherein the governor had been directed to consult the ECP and forthwith appoint a date for the holding of the general election to the KP Assembly to avoid unconstitutional delay.

Meanwhile, the defence ministry has told the ECP that the army is not available for election duty.

Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Hamooduz Zaman Khan and Additional Secretary Maj Gen Khurram Sarfraz Khan briefed the ECP on the country's prevalent situation and the military's deployment in different parts of the country and on the borders.

According to a press release issued by the ECP, they said the army attaches importance to its primary duties, as security of the borders and the country was its...

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