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Thursday Jun 21 2018

Defence ministry approves ECP demand of deploying 350,000 troops for elections

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Defence has agreed to provide 350,000 troops for election duties as requested by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), sources informed Geo News on Thursday.

According to the sources, the defence ministry has decided to call back for the purpose army, air force and navy personnel who retired in the last two years.

Sources said the retired personnel will also enjoy complete powers that are given to serving military personnel on election duty.

The army will take over the security of the Printing Corporation of Pakistan, which published ballot papers, from June 27 whereas it will take up election duties four days before the July 25 polls. 

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

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 before, 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 around 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. 

Interim PM visits ECP

Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk visited the ECP today where he held a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Raza Khan. 

The premier was briefed on the ECP's preparations for the upcoming polls. 

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