ISLAMABAD: Amid growing security concerns, Pakistan army on Wednesday agreed to spare additional troops as a backup of police and paramilitary forces during the second phase of local government (LG) polls scheduled on November 19 in Punjab and Sindh.
“Pakistan army will provide 40 companies for Punjab and 16 for Sindh for security in the second phase of LG elections,” Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh told reporters.
The ECP had invited secretaries, ministries of defence and interior, chief secretaries of Punjab and Sindh, and heads of police to discuss security arrangements for the upcoming LG polls.
Fifteen districts each in both the provinces will go for elections in the second of the three-phased local bodies’ polls – the exercise is being carried out in the two most populous provinces.
It was also decided that Rangers will be deployed inside the polling stations in Sindh, which would be declared ‘most sensitive’. The rest of the polling stations would be secured by police.
Army would be deployed in third tier as a backup in all the districts and it would act as “quick response force” if needed, the meeting decided.
During the meeting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan vowed that any negligence would not be tolerated in the next phase of LG elections.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2015.