Saturday December 09, 2023

No army deployment for GB elections: caretaker CM

By Agencies
October 03, 2020

GILGIT-BALTISTAN: Gilgit-Baltistan caretaker Chief Minister Mir Afzal on Friday said that army would not be called out in the upcoming elections for the Legislative Assembly. Elections on the 24 general seats of the GB Legislative Assembly will be held on Nov 15.

In a press conference, Afzal said that police and paramilitary forces would be deployed during the elections. "We will prove that police and paramilitary forces have full capability to provide security during elections," he said.

"We will set an example for the whole country by conducting the GB elections without [help from] the army," he added. However, army officials could be posted in "sensitive areas" depending on the conditions, he said.

Afzal said the caretaker government is "neutral" and would investigate if evidence of rigging was found. Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) banned the prime minister and other government officials from visiting GB until elections have been held. Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Election Commissioner Raja Shahbaz Khan, in a press conference, said that accordingto the rules of conduct of the election commission, no government official could visit the region or run an election campaign.

He said the PML-N had lost control of its workers and was now levelling allegations of "political engineering" against the ECP. Expressing the resolve to conduct "transparent elections at any cost", Khan said help would be taken from GB Scouts, Rangers, police and Frontier Corps. Khan too said that the army would only be posted at sensitive polling stations. "Arrangements for the elections are being made according to the coronavirus situation," he added.