Pakistan Army ‘not available’ for election duty

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s security forces will not be available for election duty in the country, due to the deteriorating law and order situation in the country

In this regard, the Ministry of Defence told Election Commission of Pakistan that border security was of paramount importance for the military amid the second highest rise in terrorism-related casualties worldwide in 2022.

The country’s electoral watchdog held several meetings with Punjab officials and the secretary and additional secretary of the federal defence ministry to discuss security for the general election in the most populated region.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, ECP secretary and other members attended the event. Officials exchanged views on the law and order situation and election-related security matters in the crucial meeting with Defence Secretary Lt-Gen (retd) Hamooduz Zaman Khan and Additional Defence Secretary Khurram Sarfaraz Khan.

The defence secretary briefed CEC and other ECP officials that the law and order situation and the border situation were top responsibility of the armed forces. It further maintained that the current economic crisis also impacted forces.

Defence secretary said it would be the government’s call whether to restrict the security personnel to the performance of its basic duties amid current conditions or deploy for secondary duties.

In recent developments, Punjab top cop and the chief secretary told the electoral watchdog that the provincial government would not be able to provide security for April 30 election of the local legislature.