Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is holding the first phase of the local government elections in its 17 districts today (Sunday). The polls will be held in the rest of KP next month.
Polling started at 8am and will continue till 5pm.
Strict security arrangements have been made, with a total of 79,479 police and other law enforcement agencies' personnel deployed in the districts where the ballot is taking place.
Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshehra, Mardan, and Peshawar are among the 17 districts. However, voting for the election of Dera Ismail Khan mayor city council was deferred after the death of ANP's candidate Mohammad Umar Khitab in an attack on Saturday.
Following the incident, the security in DIK and nearby districts was enhanced.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), 12.66 million voter are registered across the 17 districts, with 7. 015 million male voters and 5.653 million female voters.
A total of 9,223 polling stations and 28,892 polling booths have been set up for today's elections.
Of these, 2,507 polling stations have been declared most sensitive, 4,188 sensitive, while 528 have been categorized as normal.
Meanwhile, 860 polling stations have been designated as sensitive, 165 as most sensitive, and 224 as normal in the provincial capital.
Around 11,000 policemen and personnel of other forces have been deployed for security during polls in Peshawar alone.
An official said that in addition to the police, Frontier Constabulary personnel would be deployed in over 200 most sensitive polling stations in the provincial capital. Deployment to all the polling stations has been completed.
Besides, the Ababeel squad, rapid response force and other forces will also remain alert to rush in case of any mishap in an area. The cops have been directed not to allow brandishing of weapons, aerial firing or creating any law and order.
Inspector-General of Police Moazzam Jah Ansari chaired a meeting on the security arrangements for the polls on Saturday and directed the officers to ensure foolproof security.
For the first time, the cops from the erstwhile tribal areas have also been deployed in different districts of the province for election security duty.
This is for the first time that LG polls are being held in districts of erstwhile Fata.
As per the ECP, there are a total of 12.66 million registered voters, 7. 015 male and 5.653 females, in the 17 districts.
As many as 37,752 candidates are in the run for different categories in the first phase of the polls. Among these 689 are in the run to lead the city and tehsil councils while 19,285 candidates are in the run for the slot of general councilors, chairman in village and neighborhood councils.
Besides, 3,905 candidates are flexing their muscles for the seats for women councilors, 7513 for peasant councilors, 6081 for youth councilors and 282 for minority councilors.
As per reports, 876 women councilors have already been elected unopposed in different village and neighborhood councils across the province. A large number of minority councilors have been elected unopposed.