RAWALPINDI: The Army has begun deployment of as many as 70,000 troops across the country as part of elaborate security plan to ensure free, fair and peaceful parliamentary polls on May 11.
The military spokesperson told reporters in Rawalpindi on Thursday that troops were being deployed in aid of the civil authorities under Article 245 of the Constitution.
Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said the Army would also spare 50 helicopters for surveillance on the election day to help the government maintain law and order in the sensitive areas.
Many political parties had demanded the deployment of troops at the sensitive polling stations across the country to ensure law and order situation.
Major General Bajwa said the Army had devised a comprehensive security plan in view of assessment of threats prepared by intelligence agencies.
The army spokesperson added that troops will remain deployed till the completion of the electoral process.
The army troops were already guarding the printing presses, where ballot papers are being printed since April 19.
Answering a question, the DG ISPR said the deployment of troops in Balochistan wuold be completed by Thursday night while the deployment in Punjab and Sindh, including would begin on Friday.
Bajwa said that troops had already been deployed in Peshawar while deployment in the rest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be completed over the weekend.
When asked, the military spokesperson said troops would be mobilised by helicopters as well as by road for election related duties.
Talking about the security plan, Bajwa said the police and other civil law enforcing agencies would also guard polling stations while a Quick Response Force of the Pakistan Army would remain on standby to preempt any untoward incident.
"Election commission staff will be present with army."
In addition to 70,000 soldiers, the troops, which had already been present in the tribal areas, would also perform election duty along with Levies and Frontier Constabulary (FC) there.
A security plan had also been finalised to facilitate internally displaced persons to cast their votes on May 11, he said.
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