The Election Commission Monday sought army’s assistance in conducting smooth and peaceful local government and by-elections in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Commission sought the military’s assistance after at least one person had died and over one dozen injured in armed clashes between the workers of rival parties during the by-election in NA-240 last week. The political activists also clashed at a polling office in Lahore’s PP-167 constituency in Johar Town on Saturday. In a communiqué to the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja sought deployment of troops during the by-polls in NA-245, PK-7, Swat and 20 constituencies of Punjab, says a news report. The chief election commissioner hailed the role of troops in ensuring an exemplary security at the most sensitive polling stations during the previously general, local government and by-elections. The military, he observed, fulfilled their duties well during the recently held local government polls in K-P and Balochistan. Raja hoped that the troops would continue to fulfill the same task during the aforesaid local government and by-polls. Local government elections are scheduled to take place in Sindh and Swat on June 26, whereas by-elections in Punjab will be held on July 17. The second phase of local government election in Sindh is scheduled for July 24, while by-polls in the NA-245 constituency will take place on July 27. The CEC has also penned a letter to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, asking for the deployment of the army and Rangers for the forthcoming polls in the province. He also asked CM Murad to take immediate action over the incidents of unrest, firing and snatching of ballot boxes in the NA-240. Raja asserted that those involved in intervening in the electoral activity and unrest should be acted against at the earliest, asking for deployment of army and Rangers personnel at the sensitive polling stations if necessary. The CEC called upon the provincial government to ensure peaceful polling activity at all costs.