Islamabad: The Pakistan Army will not have any "direct role" in the conduct of polls on July 25 for which it would deploy a total of 371,000 military personnel at the polling stations across the country, a top military official said on Thursday.
Army Has No Direct Role In Pakistan General Elections 2018: Official
Briefing the special session of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor also said that the army would work in aid of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
"Three hundred and seventy-one thousand army soldiers will be deployed at the countrywide polling stations. The army is also performing its duty at the printing press (for ballots)," he said. He said that the ECP has a code of conduct for the army personnel and they will follow the commission's instructions. The Army spokesperson termed as "completely baseless" the rumours that military personnel had been issued 'different' orders.
"We do not have any link with the elections; we are only working on the election commission's directives to maintain the law and order situation. We do not have a direct role in polls," Maj Gen Ghafoor said.
The Pakistan Army, which enjoys considerable influence over policy decisions in Pakistan, has ruled the country for much of its life since it gained independence 70 years ago.
He also refused to share the details of deployment of troops, saying, the Army had done it, keeping in view the security situation of each province.
They said that the army would guard the polling process but it was not responsible for the security of politician as the security of candidates was the responsibility of the government.
ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob, while briefing the Senate panel, said that a total of 800,000 security officials including the army, the police and the paramilitary personnel would be deployed.
Yaqoob also said that 700,000 polling staff will perform election duties.
He also refuted rumours that army would have any role on the day of election other than providing security.
Meanwhile, the Army, in a statement, cautioned people against fake threat alerts being circulated for various cities on social media quoting the ISPR. "No such alerts are issued by the ISPR. Such propaganda is an attempt to create confusion and harassment. Citizens to watch out on this and any other such attempt through fake calls," it said, asking people to consult the official website of ISPR to verify any such news. PTI