LAHORE – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued orders on Thursday for the deployment of army troops at the polling stations in the upcoming NA-120 by-election.
The commission wrote a letter to the Ministry of Defence, directing that army troops be stationed inside and outside the polling stations falling in the constituency NA-120.
The ECP stated that the troops would perform their duties until the end of the polling time, 5 PM generally.
ECP’s order follows requests by Returning Officers of said constituency who sought the deployment of army troops for the by-poll scheduled to be held on September 17.
Earlier, the commission had also confirmed that at selected stations, electronic voting would be carried out on trial basis.
The National Assembly seat had fallen vacant after a five-member bench of the supreme court disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for concealing his employment with Capital FZE, a firm owned by his younger son Hassan, in the Panama papers case.
Ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz fielded former first lady Kulsoom Nawaz for the polls while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf pitched the same candidate Dr Yasim Rashid who lost to Nawaz Sharif in 2013 elections.
Although Yasim is campaigning to muster support for upcoming elections but Kulsoom Nawaz owing to diagnosis of Lymphoma, headed to London and is currently undergoing treatment.
It is highly likely that she would not be able to take active part in the electoral campaign, however, political observers are of the view that due to stronghold of ruling party, Kulsoom has an edge over her PTI rival.