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Army vows to extend “mandated assistance” to ECP for free, fair elections

RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan army on Wednesday expressed the resolve of extending “mandated assistance” to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections.

The 211th Corps Commanders’ Conference was held with Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa in the chair at General Headquarters, Rawalpindi, according to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on official Twitter account.

The moot reviewed geo-strategic environment and recent security and other related developments in the region and resolved, “mandated assistance to ECP will be provided for free, fair & transparent conduct of GE-18.”

Gen Bajwa directed the military to perform election duties  with utmost responsibility and without losing any focus on defence and internal security challenges at hand.

The ECP had earlier requested the Ministry of Defence to approve deployment of at least 350,000 armed forces personnel in the upcoming general elections scheduled on July 25.

The ECP, in this regard sent a summary to the minister and is awaiting reply. The core purpose of the deployment of military will be maintaining law and order during the elections countrywide.

In the meeting on May 28, the ECP officials had  finalised a security plan for the upcoming general elections.

The ECP had already decided to seek assistance of the Pakistan Army and Rangers to ensure the smooth conduct of polls at sensitive polling stations.

Besides, police personnel will also be deployed inside and outside polling stations to ensure implementation of the ECP’s code of conduct.

In the previous meeting, the chief secretaries of all four provinces were asked to give a detailed briefing on the situation of security in their respective provinces, according to sources privy to the meeting.

The chief secretaries assured the electoral body of extending every possible cooperation and assistance in this regard.

Last month, the ECP had reviewed progress over procurement of security cameras for installation and provision of missing facilities at polling stations and availability of sufficient polling staff.

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