Pakistan Army excuses itself from deploying troops in by elections

Pakistan Army excuses itself from deploying troops in by elections

ISLAMABAD – Ahead of by-elections in 93 constituencies of Punjab, KP, and the National Assembly, the Pakistan Army has excused itself from deploying troops outside polling stations.

Reports in local media said the defense ministry, in its response to a request from the Election Commission of Pakistan, apologised for the static deployment of Army, Rangers, and FC personnel for the upcoming by-elections, saying the deployment of the security forces not feasible under current circumstances.

MOD reacted as General Headquarters (GHQ) turned down the request from providing troops for deployment for security during the upcoming polls.

In its response, GHQ said the static deployment of armed forces during the conduct of By-Election on 64 National Assembly seats in four provinces and the conduct of provincial assembly elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa remains unfeasible, and mentioned that Pakistan Rangers Punjab troops can be provided in 2nd Tier (QRF mode) for conduct of NA by-election in Rajanpur on 26 February.

It was reported that armed forces were currently engaged in border management and internal security management in wake of the terror resurgence.

Earlier, the top electoral watchdog requested the deployment of forces and paramilitary personnel for the by-election and the provincial general elections.

Last month, the Ministry of Interior informed the ECP about the unavailability of troops for local bodies elections in Sindh.