ECP requests troop deployment at printing presses across country


ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday requested for the deployment of army troops at all three printing presses, where the ballot paper for General Election 2018 will be printed.

According to sources, the Ministry of Defence had agreed to provide 350,000 troops for election duties as requested by the electoral body. The army is expected to take over the security of the Printing Corporation of Pakistan, which publishes ballot papers, from June 27 whereas it will take up election duties four days before the July 25 polls.

A summary of the request was sent to the Ministry of Defence by the electoral body.

The sources further revealed that the distribution of ballot papers will also be done under the army’s supervision.

Sources had earlier informed that the Defence Ministry decided to call back those army, air force and navy personnel who has retired in the last two years for the purpose. The retired personnel will enjoy complete powers that are given to serving military personnel on election duty.

The ECP on Wednesday had written a summary to the defence ministry seeking 350,000 troops for election duty.

Last week, the ECP had declared that army personnel would be posted inside and outside the polling stations as well as at the printing press from June 27 till polling day.

Though the army has been deployed to secure the general elections previously, such a high number has never been seen earlier.

According to media reports, with 350,000 available personnel, the armed forces will be able to post two security officials inside and two outside the estimated 85,000 polling stations.

The Pakistan Army had also spared around 200,000 troops to conduct the Sixth Population and Housing Census of the country last year.