ISLAMABAD – Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Thursday, clarified that army was working on the electoral body’s direction to improve the security situation in the country ahead of the polls.
He stated this while speaking at a special session of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, besides rejecting the rumours that army personnel had been given ‘different orders’.
Ghafoor said that the army has no direct role in the election set to be held on July 25. “The armed forces have always extended support to civil institutions,” he added.
Elaborating the duties during election day, the DG said: “Three hundred and seventy-one thousand troops will be deployed at polling stations in the country,” adding that army is also security duties at the printing press.
When PML-N Senator Kulsoom Parveen asked about the number of troops to be deployed in Balochistan, where a suicide blast killed over 150 people, Ghafoor said: “We know how many personnel should be deployed where”.
He added that providing security for election did not mean that army would also take direct responsibility for the security of politicians.
“The army is not taking direct responsibility for the security of any politician,” he said. “The security of political candidates is the responsibility of the government of Pakistan and the ECP. We are assisting the election commission for security during polling.
The Senate session was headed by the committee chairperson Senator Rehman Malik. Federal interior and defence secretaries, secretary ECP and several other government officials also attended the meeting.
In the same session, ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob said that army personnel would have a free role at the polling stations, adding that they would work under the presidi9jng officers.
“A total of 800,000 security officials and 700,000 ECP staff will perform their duties,” he said.