70,000 Army personnel to perform election duties

Pakistan Army is deploying 70‚000 troops for election-related duties including provision of security and maintenance of law and order.
This was stated by Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa while briefing newsmen in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
He said Armed Forces have been called upon to act in aid of the civil power under Article-245 of the Constitution.
The Director General ISPR said responsibilities assigned to the Army include provision of security for printing presses where ballot papers are being printed; safe transportation of ballot papers and election material to Returning Officers and Polling Stations and maintenance of law and order.
He said printing of ballot papers is going on since 19th of last month and troops are guarding premises of the printing presses concerned.
He said deployment of army in Balochistan would be completed by tonight while deployment in Sindh including Karachi would begin tomorrow.
Movement of troops for deployment in Punjab would begin tomorrow while deployment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is underway and would be completed soon.
Replying to a question the Major General Asim Bajwa said police and para-military forces would guard polling stations on the polling day while Quick Response Force of Pakistan Army would remain on standby for assistance.
He said a comprehensive security plan is in place and arrangements have also been made for deployment heli-borne units of Quick Response Force to respond to any eventuality.
The Director General said 50 helicopters would also be used for election related duties and surveillance purposes.
Asked about security arrangements in FATA‚ he said troops are already there and plans have been finalized to ensure security on Election Day (May 11).
He urged media to cooperate in sharing of sensitive information‚ if any‚ for prompt action by the authorities concerned.

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