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Pakistan

Punjab by-elections: Army troops to be deployed only as Quick Reaction Force

  • Troops carry out reconnaissance of most sensitive locations in respective areas as third-tier responders
Published July 16, 2022
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Pakistan Army will perform Quick Reaction Force duties to maintain law and order during polling in Punjab by-elections tomorrow, the military's media wing said on Saturday.

"Pakistan army troops carried out reconnaissance of most sensitive locations in respective areas as third-tier responders to any law and order situation in line with directions of the Election Commission of Pakistan during Punjab by-elections," the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Earlier, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja wrote a letter to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah for the provision of security by Pakistan Rangers in the 20 constituencies of the Punjab Assembly for upcoming by-elections—citing the “presence of militant elements” in certain political parties contesting these polls— maintaining that police would “not be only able to provide a conducive environment to conduct elections in a free, fair and peaceful manner.”

Punjab by-polls: Electoral campaign ends; polling tomorrow

“As the conduct of the peaceful election is a sine-qua-non (an essential condition) of ECP’s function and provision of adequate security is the function of the federal and provincial governments, therefore, it is imperative this provision be made sufficiently to ensure free, peaceful and transparent elections,” CEC Raja wrote in his letter to the minister.

By-elections are being held on four PA seats of Lahore, two seats each of Jhang, Lodhran, Muzaffargarh, and one seat each of Rawalpindi, Khushab, Bhakkar, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalnagar, Layyah, and Dera Ghazi Khan.

On May 30, this year, ECP de-notified the legislative memberships of a total of 25 dissident members of provincial assembly (MPAs) of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who voted for Hamza Shahbaz, against the party policy, in the election of chief minister Punjab held in April.

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