Pakistan’s election body asks govt to deploy army on general election day newsbhunt


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top election body had asked the government to deploy regular army troops to maintain peace on the day of the general election, a report said on Monday. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has scheduled for February 8, 2024, general election in the cash-strapped country.
According to a letter written by the ECP to the interior ministry, the provincial police force is not sufficient to provide security during the polling.
The poll body wrote in the letter that at least 591,106 security personnel were needed for the upcoming general election, and there was a shortage of 277,558 police personnel in the provinces and the federation.
It demanded that the Pakistan Army and paramilitary forces be deployed on the polling day.
The letter, referring to the bad law and order situation in the country, said the deployment of the army and civil armed forces as a static and quick response force be ensured.
It asked the ministry to inform the commission about the same before December 7.
The demand for army deployment is not new as regular troops are traditionally provided for elections in Pakistan.
The development comes as caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said the government would meet the financial needs of the ECP ahead of the February 8 general election.
“There is no crisis in meeting the financial needs of the ECP,” Solangi said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
“Whatever budgeted amount is needed by the ECP will be released as per its needs accordingly,” he said.
Solangi’s statement followed media reports that the ECP summoned the finance secretary on Monday for the ministry’s failure to provide the funds allocated for the election.
The minister said the Cabinet already approved Rs 42 billion for the ECP’s needs and Rs 10 billion had been released so far.
“We firmly stand behind the ECP in holding free and fair elections as mandated by Article 218(3) of the Constitution,” he added.
Separately, finance secretary Imdadullah Bosal met the ECP officials and told the media after the meeting that the finance ministry would release the funds required for the upcoming election.
“We will release the funds in two days,” Bosal said, adding that all ECP needs would be fulfilled.


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