The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) told the Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Thursday that Army personnel will work under presiding officers in the upcoming General Elections.   

The Secretary of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Babar Yaqoob, briefed the Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Thursday that Army troops will not work independently during the July 25 election.

Babar Yaqoob said that an impression exists that the troops will work independently.

Yaqoob clarified that the army personnel deployed across the country on July 25 will work under presiding officers . He further stated that a written code of conduct was in place to this effect.

The secretary ECP said that Army personnel will be liable to inform the presiding officer and returning officer if anyone attempts to fill ballot boxes, after which the prescribed method will be followed.

He stated, "Troops will only aid in holding peaceful polls." 

Moreover, during the meeting, a representative of the General Headquarters (GHQ) said that they are working to improve the security situation on the instructions of ECP, adding that troops were liable to follow the ECP's code of conduct.

The GHQ representative further said that the armed forces had always lent support to civil institutions.

While replying to Senator Kulsoom Parveen's question as to how many troops will be sent to Balochistan, the armed forces' representative said that deployment of troops will be done as required. 

He said, "We have assessed areas for their security needs. Planning of the security arrangements should be left on us. We know how many troops are to be deployed in different areas."  

"We took extraordinary measures when polls were held in Afghanistan. Now the Afghan president has assured the prime minister and army chief, over the phone, of cooperation," GHQ representative said.  

The GHQ representative also clarified that there was no obstacle in communication with the ECP.