Wednesday Jul 21, 2021
MUZAFFARABAD: Political parties have agreed on deploying Pakistan Army troops at polling stations for the July 25 Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly election, The News reported Wednesday.
The publication said the decision was taken with the heads of all political parties present at a high-level meeting of the Election Commission, with AJK Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Abdul Rashid Sulehria in the chair.
The participants of the meeting had suggested to the AJK Election Commission that the deployment of the army be done at polling stations to maintain law and order on polling day.
Speaking on the occasion, the CEC urged the heads of the political parties to ensure the implementation of the code of conduct announced by the election commission and ensure the peaceful conduct of the election.
A member of the election commission, Farhat Ali Mir, said that the purpose of the consultative meeting with the heads of political parties was to seek their opinion regarding the deployment of the army.
He added that the election commission had so far taken strict action against the violations of the code of conduct.
A resolution regarding the deployment of the army at the polling station was also passed by the participants.
Meanwhile, at the election commission's request, the AJK government had granted magisterial powers to army officers summoned on July 25 to assist the electoral body and administration in maintaining law and order on polling day.
Previously, it had been reported that the army would be on "standby" to assist the conduct of the General Election for the Legislative Assembly on July 25 after a requisition request for troops was made by the AJK Election Commission.
A notification by the Ministry of Interior dated July 8 states that it is "pleased to authorise the deployment of Pakistan Army (standby) 1,600 x troops of Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) at highly sensitive polling stations and 4,000 x troops of Frontier Constabulary for conduct of General Election of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly scheduled to be held on 25th July 2021".