Islamabad(July 19, 2018): The Senate Standing Committee on Interior was informed by a representative of the General Headquarters (GHQ) on Thursday 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