March 15, 2023
ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was informed on Tuesday that the Pakistan Army will not be available for poll-related duties due to the prevalent security situation within the country and on the borders.
Over the past few months, the law and order situation in the country has worsened, with terrorist groups executing attacks with near impunity across the country. Since the talks with the banned militant group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan broke down in November, the militant group has intensified its attacks, particularly targeting the police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and areas bordering Afghanistan.
Separately, provincial elections for the Punjab Assembly are scheduled for April 30 while KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali said earlier today that he has suggested May 28 as the election date in the province.
A press release issued from the electoral body said that three important meetings were held today under the chairmanship of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja.
The press release said that in the third meeting, Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Hamood Uz Zaman Khan and Additional Secretary Maj Gen Khurram Sarfraz Khan briefed the CEC and ECP officials on the country’s prevalent situation and the military’s deployment within Pakistan and on its borders.
“They said that the army attaches importance to its basic duties, in which the security of the borders and the country is its first priority. They said that the army is not available for election duty at this time due to the present situation in the country,” the press release reads.
The defence ministry officials said that the current economic situation of the country was also affecting the army.
However, they added that in the end it would be the government’s decision whether it kept the military restricted to its primary duties or appointed it for secondary tasks such as election-related duties.
“They also clarified that in case of election duty, the army can be deployed in quick reaction force mode but it is not possible to perform duty in static mode,” the press release reads.