Army has no direct role in conducting elections: DG ISPR
The military spokesperson urges media to avoid approaching soldiers at polling stations for questions.
RAWALPINDI: Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major-General Asif Ghafoor says the military will be involved in the election entirely in a support role and act on orders of the Election Commission of Pakistan to help them in terms of security.”
“The army has no direct role in holding elections and will only support the electoral process. ”
Addressing an important press conference in connection to election security plan, the military spokesperson said the army had been given election-related six responsibilities under Article 220 and 245 of the Constitution.
He stressed that the elections will be held on time. “And democracy is not restricted to the election day alone. What you sow is what you will reap in the end. Army has no benefit in it.”
Underlining army’s role, he said it was not the first time that troops would be deployed to supervise the election process. “The armed forces have rendered services during previous elections as well,” he maintained.
You can’t control social media, but anything on the social media platforms that goes against the national security will not be ignored.
He reiterated that the army only had to transport the ballot papers in a secure manner and would not be involved in anything else.”
It is our responsibility to let voters have sense of security so they could exercise their right to ballot in the elections, he added.
He asked voters to come out in large numbers and chose their representatives, adding that no one would stop them from their voting right.
The election results will be fair and transparent, and the time will prove it – DG ISPR
The DG ISPR reiterated that the army only had to transport the ballot papers in a secure manner and would not be involved in anything else.”
Maj Gen Ghafoor said that 192,000 troops were deployed in 1997 elections for 25,000 polling stations as it was a full deployment.
Then in 2002, the deployment was less than 35,000 troops for 64,470 polling stations “because the ECP only tasked it [the Army] with overall security”. Then, in 2008, only 39,000 troops were deployed, even though the number of polling stations was much higher (64,100) because the troops were only in charge of overall security.
He underlined that the 2013 elections were difficult security-wise , adding 75,000 troops were deployed for security at 70,185 polling stations in the last elections.
He also requested journalists to avoid approaching soldiers deployed at polling stations for security.
DG ISPR said the election support cell has been set up in Rawalpindi under a 3-star general to coordinate election duties with the Election Commission of Pakistan.
‘Would you please explain what is Khalai Makhlooq‘
The DG ISPR, when questioned about popular term Khalai Makhlooq coined recently by PML-N to describe the country’s ‘establishment’, said “We are not into politics and we perform duties for people and will continue doing so’. “And we are the makhlooq [creation] of the God. The time will tell what these phrases actually meant, Maj Gen Ghafoor concluded.