Pakistan's election body asks government to deploy army for general election day
Pakistan Elections: Pakistan, which is facing both political and economic instability, is going to the polls on February 8.
Pakistan's election commission has asked the government to deploy army troops to maintain peace on the day of the general election, citing the shortage of 2.77 lakh police personnel to provide security during the polling.
Pakistan, which is facing both political and economic instability, is going to the polls on February 8.
According to a letter written by the Election Commission of Pakistan (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.
The ECP said that the Pakistan Army and paramilitary forces should be deployed on the polling day to maintain law and order.
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.
On Tuesday, the Finance Division said it has released ₹17.4 billion to the Election Commission for the upcoming general elections.
The amount was in addition to the ₹10 billion released in July 2023, the Finance Ministry said, highlighting that the latest disbursement brought the total funds released for polls to ₹27.4 billion.
"The Finance Division remains committed to provision of funds as and when required by the Election Commission of Pakistan,” it added.
Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi earlier 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. "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 ₹42 billion for the ECP’s needs and ₹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.