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Caretaker PM, CM Punjab Discuss Election Related Matters

Lahore (July 19, 2018): Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Hassan Askari on Thursday met with Caretaker Prime Minister Justice Retired Nasirul Mulk in Lahore.

During the meeting, they reaffirmed their commitment to ensure holding of transparent, fair and free general elections of 2018.

Speaking on this occasion, caretaker Prime Minister Justice (Retired) Nasirul Mulk said that the caretaker government is committed to hold the general elections in a transparent manner.The Prime Minister said caretaker Punjab government is performing its duty in a professional and neutral manner. He said the provincial government has made all necessary arrangements to make the election process transparent.

During the meeting the caretaker Chief Minister said he is personally visiting different cities and reviewing the arrangements regarding the forthcoming elections.

Earlier, Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Hassan Askari met with Caretaker Prime Minister Justice Retired Nasirul Mulk in Lahore on Thursday.During the meeting, they reaffirmed their commitment to ensure holding of transparent, fair and free general elections 2018.

Speaking on this occasion, the caretaker Chief Minister said that all arrangements are being finalized for holding the general elections in a peaceful atmosphere in Punjab.Security Matters: GHQ Rep, Secretary ECP Brief Senate BodySecurity Matters: GHQ Rep, Secretary ECP Brief Senate Body

Earlier today, the Senate Standing Committee on Interior was informed by a representative of the General Headquarters (GHQ) that troops were only involved in improving the security situation.

Informing the committee’s meeting today, the army’s representative said, “We are only working to improve the security situation on the instructions of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP),” adding that troops were liable to follow the electoral body’s code of conduct.

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The GHQ representative further said that the armed forces had always lent support to civil institutions.

Responding to Senator Kulsoom Parveen’s question as to how many troops will be sent to Balochistan, the armed forces’ representative said deployment of troops will be done as required.

Stressing on complying with the ECP’s code of conduct, the army’s representative said the troops also have to perform the police’s duties until the latter’s capabilities improve.“We took extraordinary measures when polls were held in Afghanistan. Now the Afghan president has assured the prime minister and army chief, over the phone, of cooperation,” they said.

Chairman of the committee, Rehman Malik said on the occasion, that Afghanistan can be used in terror activities during polls.The GHQ representative also clarified that there was no hindrance in communication with the electoral body.

Earlier today, Secretary Election Commission Babar Yaqoob while giving briefing to the Senate’s Standing Committee said the Election Commission is responsible for holding free and fair elections and all the other institutions are assisting it.The Secretary Election Commission informed the meeting that there will be 85,307 polling stations across the country, and all of them will be available on Google Map.

He said over twenty thousand polling stations have been declared sensitive, and CCTV cameras will be installed inside and outside of all the sensitive polling stations.

The Secretary Election Commission said 450,000 police and 300,000 army troops will be deployed no the polling day. As many as 750,000 polling staff will perform duty.He said the army personnel will assist ECP under law, and they will work under presiding officers. He said for the first time a code of conduct for security personnel was prepared.

The Secretary Election said for the first time watermarked ballot papers imported from Europe will be used in the elections.

He informed the committee that Returning Officers send results to the Election Commission through special software.

He said observers, most of them from EU and Commonwealth, will monitor transparency in elections.

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