ISLAMABAD -  As the country goes today into one of the most hyped elections in its history, ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan has asked his polling staff not to ‘let the nation down’ and do their best for the conduct of free and fair polls.

Briefing the media about election arrangements on Friday at the ECP building, the secretary said that unofficial poll results would be made available to the media by tonight while the official results would be notified by Sunday night. 

"The entire Pakistan is banking on you, don't let the nation down. Do your utmost to make the general elections free and fair. Your countrymen has entrusted you the foremost duty," Ishtiak Ahmed Khan said in his message to the 720,000 people performing duties at 69,876 polling stations across the country.

"At this important juncture in our history, a very noble and crucial task rests on your shoulder. We have done whatever we could to the best of our abilities; the rest is up to you. The integrity and credibility of the elections cannot be compromised at any cost," he said, adding that the state institutions including the judiciary, army, Nadra and Printing Corporation of Pakistan played a commendable role in assisting the ECP.

Expressing his displeasure over power outages on Friday, Ishtiak Khan said that the matter would be taken up with the water and power and finance secretaries. "At the same place we're sitting right now, the water and power and finance secretaries had promised me that there would be no load shedding on 10, 11 and 12 May. They needed Rs45 billion rupees for this purpose, which were released on the prime minister's order. There were frequent power outages today and if the electricity is disrupted even for a minute tomorrow, it would be a great disservice to the nation. It would adversely affect the polling. This would be unacceptable."

The ECP, the secretary said, had introduced special stamps to commemorate the "unprecedented steps" taken by the body to ensure transparency in polls. Approved by the prime minister on Wednesday, the stamp is monogrammed "free, fair and transparent elections”, he added.

On army's role in the transportation of ballot papers, the secretary said that the military guarded the five printing houses where the ballot papers were printed. It conducted the ballot papers' transportation using 50 helicopters that carried 650 tonnes of ballot papers. The military has deployed its sniffing dogs and installed close-circuit cameras at the highly sensitive polling stations while 75,000 troops have been deployed to provide security at the most sensitive, highly sensitive and some sensitive polling stations.

The ECP, according to Ishtiaq, has made special arrangements to provide polls results to the media instantly after they are received from the polling stations.