Balochistan security: ‘Threatened’ teachers to boycott election duties

Express Tribune, April 27, 2013
QUETTA:The Government Teachers Association (GTA) of Balochistan has barred its members from performing election day duties in 11 districts of the province following threats to their lives by banned militant organisations.

After receiving the threats, 18,461 teachers from the 11 districts were advised to refrain from participating in the polls.

GTA Secretary General Qasim Khan told The Express Tribune that a meeting of members from 30 districts reviewed the security situation and decided not to put the lives of teachers at stake.

Teachers from Kalat division, Makran division and two districts of Quetta – Chaghi and Noshki – have received serious threats against performing their duties during the elections.

However, Khan added, teachers in the other 19 others districts of Balochistan would continue with their duties as the security situation in their areas is under control.

Khan added that if any teacher would like to perform their duties voluntarily, they could do so. “We wrote letters to the Election Commission of Pakistan about the banned organisations’ threats,” he said, adding that they have yet to receive a response in this regard.

However, the ECP on Saturday assured election staff that their apprehensions, particularly with regard to security, would be addressed. “We will ensure the security of the election staff, particularly in the restive areas by deploying security personnel as per requirement,” said a senior ECP official on condition of anonymity.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2013.