BBC plans extensive coverage of Pakistan elections

NEW DELHI: The BBC is planning a series of special programmes and exclusive interviews and news stories for its television, radio and online services to cover this week's elections in Pakistan.

BBC World's Lyse Doucet will be joining Zaffar Abbas, the organisation's Islamabad correspondent, to anchor live election special editions of Asia Today which will carry the results live. The BBC South Asia Correspondent Adam Mynott will be reporting, with Pakistan-based correspondent Susannah Price, from across the country. The former Delhi Bureau Chief Mike Wooldridge is returning to his old patch to lead the BBC World Service's radio and on-line coverage. The BBC operation is the biggest of any foreign broadcaster in the country, according to an official statement from BBC here.

It will be offering unrivalled reports and analysis on the poll, the results and the consequences for a country trying to prove its democratic credentials.

Among the special reports compiled by the BBC's team are an exclusive report on the government's attempts to control the Tribal areas, the rise of the Islamic parties, the impact of the Afghan war on the country's stability, the task ahead for President Musharraf and the claims by opposition groups that the polls are neither truly free or fair.

The BBC's South Asia Bureau Editor Paul Danahar, in a statement said: "The scale of our operation dwarfs that of any other foreign broadcaster in the region. Yet again we are deploying more people and covering more issues than any of our competitors which reflects our much greater commitment to covering the region's big news stories on the ground, as they happen. Our audience in South Asia trusts the BBC on these big occasions and we are determined to continue to deliver the region's best international news service."

BBC World will show on Asia Today, the daily current affairs programme, a special report on the Election in Pakistan on Thursday 10 October at 7 am, 8 am, 9 am IST and on the same times on Friday 11 October, the release said.

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