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Pak`s caretaker PM terms upcoming elections as `big challenge`

Pak general election on May 11 is "big challenge" and law enforcement authorities should use all measures to ensure polls are "fair in every possible manner", caretaker PM Mir Hazar Khan Khoso said.

Islamabad: Pakistan`s upcoming general election on May 11 is a "big challenge" and law enforcement authorities should put in place all measures to ensure that the polls are "fair in every possible manner", caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso said on Thursday.
Khoso made the remarks during a meeting at which senior officials of the Interior Ministry briefed him on the overall internal security situation and arrangements made for holding the elections to the national and provincial assemblies.

"The general election is a big challenge and the administration and law enforcement agencies should remain alert and impartial to ensure that the forthcoming elections are fair in every possible manner," Khoso said, according to a statement issued by his office.

He said he was committed to holding free and fair elections and directed the Interior Ministry to "firm up all necessary arrangements to achieve this national objective".

The officials informed the premier that the Interior Ministry was "fully geared up and was making all necessary arrangements, including collection and pooling of intelligence and round the clock monitoring of the situation" in order to maintain peace during the election campaign and on election day.

The officials told Khoso that 85,000 polling stations are likely to be established.

The sensitive polling stations and areas will be identified so that polling can be conducted peacefully in those places.

Khoso`s meeting with the senior officials, including Interior Secretary Khwaja Saddique, came a day after the Pakistan Army`s top commanders reviewed the security situation and arrangements for the polls during a session chaired by army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Reports said about 50,000 soldiers would be deployed across Pakistan to secure the poll process..

The Interior Ministry has warned of a "massive terrorist threat" during the polls as banned groups like Jandullah, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan were planning to carry out large-scale attacks in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Balochistan provinces.

The polls will mark the first democratic transition in Pakistan`s 66-year history.

Analysts believe maintaining law and order will be the foremost problem for the 84-year-old Khoso, who is yet to name members of his caretaker administration.