The Army gears up for elections: nationwide troop deployment announced

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Director General of Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR) Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa onThursday said that at least 70,000 armed forces personnel would be deployed in the four provinces for election security.

Maj Gen Asim Bajwa made the  announcement during a press conference held at the Army’s  General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, adding that the military would ensure security on the polling day and a security monitoring cell would be established at the GHQ in this regard.

DG ISPR further said that the Rangers’ operations in Karachi would continue in order to ensure security,  whereas Rangers, FC and police would guard people at the polling stations.

Moreover army aviation would also provide air cover using 50 helicopters across the country on May 11.

Apart from these troops, thousands of other personnel would be on stand-by as part of quick response forces in case any security situation arises.

Deployment in Balochistan province has been completed whereas troops were to be deployed in Khyber Pakhtubnkhwa, Karachi and other parts of Sindh and Punjab in the coming days.

The army would also provide the logistics for taking the ballot papers from the printing press to the polling stations and handing over the District Returning Officers (DRO).

Military troops were also already deployed in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to provide security for the printing of ballot papers which started from April 19.The government has requested the deployment of troops under Article 248 of the Constitution in the wake of worsening slaw and orders in the country.

There have been frequent attacks on election candidates in Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the recent days, prompting the caretaker at the centre and the respective provinces to request for troops deployment.