The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday postponed polling on 16 seats of the tribal districts that were recently merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).According to the ECP spokesperson, the polling was postponed on the request of the provincial government amid law and order situation in the area. The KP government had requested the country’s supreme electoral body to adjourn the polling in the tribal districts to ensure law and order, as the area was under cross-border attacks from Afghanistan.The decision to postpone the polling was made at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Sardar Raza Khan in Islamabad. “Polling in the erstwhile FATA will be held on July 20,” the spokesperson said. The ECP had issued a notification on May 6 announcing the schedule for the provincial assembly elections. A June 3 letter from the KP Home and Tribal Affairs Department to the ECP, however, sought a delay in polls. The letter stated that the current “unwarranted situation and threats of [a] serious nature from across the border, and some developments within [the] newly merged districts [that] may sabotage the whole process of holding forthcoming elections”. Adviser to the KP Chief Minister Ajmal Wazir described recent incidents of terrorism in the tribal areas, particularly North Waziristan, as a matter of concern, and said that the purpose of seeking a delay in polls was to ensure a peaceful environment and a level playing field for all candidates.