In the largest security arrangement ever, over 370,000 troops have been deployed across Pakistan for Wednesday’s general elections.
According to the Pakistan Army, it would deploy 371,388 troops at 85,000 polling stations for the July 25 election. This would be the largest deployment for any election in the country’s history.
“Deployment of troops completed across the country,” the military said in a statement.
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The troops along with local security agencies will provide “a safe and secure environment” for voting, even as leaders of mainstream parties and certain candidates face serious security threats, the Army said.
Recently, the country was hit by a series of terror attacks on candidates and campaign rallies. Terror attack on one rally in Balochistan province on July 13 killed 151 people.
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Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was criticised for deploying the army both inside and outside polling stations. Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa has, however, said that security forces deployed for election duties would strictly comply with the code of conduct given by the ECP.
Bajwa also said the army will only perform a facilitative role in the election and that the polling process is to remain under the control and authority of the ECP.
The countrywide election campaign, hit by a series of terrorist attacks, ended midnight Tuesday.
(With inputs from agencies)