ISLAMABAD – Each designated officer-in-charge of armed forces deployed for security at polling stations shall exercise the power of magistrate First Class. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday issued a notification to this effect.

It said deployment of armed forces shall be made for the provision of a secure environment in conduct of the election in free, fair, and transparent manner.

It said military troops will be deployed inside and outside all the polling stations from 23rd to 27th of this month. Armed forces have been given responsibility to made foolproof security arrangements during the printing, stacking and storage of ballot papers, it added.

It further said the armed forces shall provide security during transportation of ballot papers and other materials from printing presses to respective polling stations and back to district treasuries or ECP’s strong rooms.

The notification said the armed forces shall also deploy a sufficient number of mobile vigilance teams, Quick Reaction Force and reserves in all constituencies to provide a secure environment.

The notification reads that the security staff deployed on a polling station is supposed to first report to the presiding officer, then officer-in-charge, and returning officers concerned respectively if he finds any irregularity or malpractice during the election process.