Army not available for poll duties due to security situation, ECP told

CEC and ECP representatives briefed on situation and military's deployment by Defence Secretary, Additional Secretary

The Ministry of Defense has informed the Election Commission of Pakistan that due to the security situation in the country, the Pakistan Army is not available for election duty at present.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja presided over the meeting. ECP was informed on Tuesday that due to the ongoing security situation both inside the country and on the frontiers, the Pakistan Army would not be accessible for poll-related responsibilities.

Meanwhile, although KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali announced earlier today that he has proposed May 28 as the poll date in the province, provincial elections for the Punjab Assembly are set on April 30.

Three significant meetings were conducted today, according to a news statement from the electoral authority, all of which were presided over by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja.

According to the press release, in the third meeting, the CEC and ECP representatives were briefed on the country’s current situation as well as the military’s deployment within Pakistan and on its borders by Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Hamood Uz Zaman Khan and Additional Secretary Maj Gen Khurram Sarfraz Khan.

They said that the army places a high value on its fundamental responsibilities, of which the protection of the country’s borders is at the top of the list. Due to the current state of the nation, they said that the army is not now accessible for electoral duty, according to the press release.

The law and order situation in the country has gotten worse over the past few months as terrorist organizations carry out assaults virtually unchecked across the nation. The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has escalated its assaults since the discussions with the group fell down in November, focusing primarily on the police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and areas bordering Afghanistan.