Pakistan election commission to assess impact of violence on coming poll

Pakistan's election commission said Saturday it would hold an emergency meeting in the coming days to assess the impact of the violence raging across the country on a parliamentary election planned for Jan. 8. The violence, which followed the killing Thursday of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, led to the destruction of nine election offices, including the voter rolls inside, and adversely affected the printing of ballot papers, training of poll workers and other pre-election logistics, the commission said in a statement faxed to reporters. The election is seen as a crucial step in restoring stability and bring democracy back to this nuclear-armed nation. In the statement issued by spokesman Azmatulla Shaikh, the election commission did not say whether it would consider recommending a postponement of the poll at its emergency meeting called for Monday.