Islamabad: Considering the law and order situation in the province, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home department has announced security guidelines for political parties, Pakistan-based Dawn reported. It said that all gatherings should be held during the day and should not exceed the assigned time limit.

In a notification issued on Thursday, the home department said, "In wake of law and order situation in the province, it is felt that leadership of political parties should be sensitised to follow security guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOP) during campaigns for the protection of their workers," according to Dawn.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government said that political party should register an application to the relevant deputy commissioner to get a no objection certification (NOC) for political activity, particularly in case of larger gatherings where national leadership was expected to arrive. It further said that the application should include a tentative fortnightly schedule of political gatherings with details regarding venue, timing and list of leaders.

A notification reads, "The local leadership shall submit an affidavit to the effect that no road or street shall be blocked and no traffic hassle shall be created to cause public inconvenience." It further said that party or candidates should give details to the district administration, allowing police to make necessary arrangements.

According to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, no meetings by different political parties should take place on the same date, time and venue or at a place near the venue. It said that permission should be given subject to clearance from law enforcement agencies. It further said that the relevant deputy commissioner should issue NOC for holding meetings or political gatherings after observing all codal formalities.

After identification of the venue, the home department directed that the district administration in consultation with all stakeholders should identify and inform regarding two or three suitable sites for political gatherings, according to Dawn. It added that tehsil administration in consultation with all the stakeholders should identify and notify four to five sites after getting approval from district administration for holding public gathering.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government said that the corner meetings should be held on closed premises and information regarding all gatherings should be shared with the district administration and the local police station for provision of necessary security. It said that no political activities should be permitted in the buildings of government or semi-government or autonomous bodies, playgrounds, squares and roads.

According to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, all political gatherings should be conducted in broad daylight and not exceed the assigned time limit. It further said that if the public gatherings are held with non-observance of the assigned timing, responsibility of any mishap will lie with the leadership of the relevant political party.

According to the notification, the use of loudspeakers should be allowed for huge political gatherings at identified venues. It further stated use of loud speakers should not be made near places of worship, hospitals and educational institutions, according to Dawn.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government said that there should be zero tolerance for any attempt to incite violence or resort to violence during meetings, political gatherings or processions. It also warned violators of administrative and legal action. According to the home department, defamatory and derogatory language should be avoided and political leaders must not engage in personal attacks on each other during speeches at rallies and elsewhere.

The home department said that political leaders should discourage their followers from using any inappropriate remarks about political leaders and activists of other political parties, Dawn reported. The home department said that security of political leaders and activists should be their own responsibility and police and Levies in Malakand will be responsible for the overall security of the venue and general public.

It said that no personal security will be given to people except those, whose cases had been particularly given approval by the provincial, divisional, district level committee under the policy, Dawn reported. According to the notification, the political leaders, activists and workers may use uniformed private security guards having valid licensed arms with them for their security.

According to the notification, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government said video recording of meetings, political gatherings or processions should be the responsibility of the organisers. It further said they should give recordings of the videos to the relevant police station.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government's decision comes after a suicide blast in Bajaur that targeted Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) party's workers convention in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Bajaur, which claimed lives of 63 people and nearly 200 people were injured, Pakistan-based The Express Tribune.

As per the news report, a bomber detonated an explosives-packed vest near the platform as some 400 members of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) party, a significant government coalition partner led by hardline politician Fazlur Rehman, awaited the start of the speeches. The provincial minister of information, Feroz Jamal, stated that police were "investigating this attack in all aspects."