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June 22, 2018

350,000 troops to man polling stations

Top Story

June 22, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Defence has agreed to detail 350,000 troops for election duties as requested by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), sources informed the Geo News on Thursday.

The ministry has decided to call back the army, air force and navy personnel [for the purpose] who had retired in the last two years. Sources said the retired personnel will enjoy complete powers given to serving military personnel on election duty.

The ECP had written a summary to the defence ministry seeking 350,000 troops for the election duty. Last week, the ECP had declared that army personnel would be posted inside and outside the polling stations as well as at the printing press from June 27 till the polling day.

According to media reports, with 350,000 available personnel, the armed forces will be able to post two security officials inside and two outside around 85,000 polling stations. The Pakistan Army had also spared around 200,000 troops to conduct the Sixth Population and Housing Census of the country last year.

Muhammad Saleh Zaafir and Mumtaz Alvi add: The government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday expressed their unflinching resolve to hold the general elections in a free, fair and transparent manner on July 25.

The determination was articulated during a maiden meeting between Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan at the ECP Headquarters here.

The prime minister drove from his office to the ECP headquarters to discuss and review the measures taken by the ECP for the general elections. Stringent security measures were taken during the premier’s arrival at the ECP Secretariat. He was received by the Election Commission Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad.

Justice Mulk received a detailed briefing and expressed satisfaction over the arrangements. Sources said the prime minister inquired about certain specifics pertaining to the poll arrangements.

Justice Mulk was told that to make the elections smooth and peaceful, 350,000 troops would be deployed both inside and outside the polling stations and the ballots would also be printed under their supervision.

A statement issued by the ECP said the caretaker prime minister had a separate meeting with the chief election commissioner. Justice Nasir assured the chief election commissioner that the government would extend complete cooperation to the Election Commission in holding the elections. The CEC thanked him for the visit and said the role of all the state institutions would be of paramount importance for ensuring free, fair and transparent elections.

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