Pakistan will deploy 800,000 security personnel to maintain security during next week’s general elections

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Pakistan will deploy 800,000 security personnel to maintain security during next week’s general elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has confirmed.

Elections for the National Assembly, lower house of the parliament, and four provincial assemblies will be held on July 25.

Secretary of the ECP Babar Yaqoob told reporters that 350,000 army troops and 450,000 police officers will perform duties on the polling day across the country.

He said all forces will work under the ECP’s code of the conduct.

Security has already been enhanced for political leaders and election rallies following a series of bomb attacks on gatherings which killed nearly over 170 people, including two candidates in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The attacks were claimed by the Islamic State and Pakistani Taliban groups.

Security officials said that the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and a Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar could carry out more terrorist acts during the election campaign.

“The election campaign is progressing well and all parties are free to run their campaign,” Yaqoob said.

He dismissed the western media reports that extremist groups, which are designated by the United Nations on the terror list, are allowed to take part in the elections. He said Pakistan’s Interior Ministry will share with the election authorities if anyone violates the law.

Yaqoob disagreed with remarks by some political parties that they are not allowed a level playing field during the campaign, saying all leaders had equal opportunities to run campaign.

He said the election commission took notice whenever he received any complaint.

The official said the whole polling scheme will be uploaded at the Google map for information of the people.

The ECP has also briefed foreign observers on the election process and arrangements, who are in Pakistan to monitor the elections.

 

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