ISLAMABAD: The interim federal cabinet approved the deployment of the Pakistan Army and civil armed forces for the peaceful holding of the upcoming February 8 general elections.
With less than three weeks remaining until the polls, Pakistan has witnessed an increase in terrorism, illustrated by the recent gun attack that claimed the life of an independent candidate in North Waziristan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Prime Minister’s Office, in a statement, disclosed that the interim Prime Minister, Anwaarul Haq Kakar, led a federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad today, during which the government endorsed the deployment of Pakistan Army and civil armed forces troops for the secure conduct of general elections. This decision was made based on the recommendation of the interior ministry.
The press release outlined that the security personnel would be assigned to sensitive constituencies and polling stations, serving as a rapid response force as well.
This latest action follows the formation of a seven-member committee by PM Kakar a few days ago to facilitate the smooth execution of the upcoming elections and oversee security arrangements.
Interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi, a day earlier, dismissed any connection between threat alerts and the polls, emphasizing that the general elections would proceed as scheduled on February 8. He pointed out past instances where general elections were successfully held despite security challenges in the country.
Despite acknowledging threats in various regions, top government and security officials had assured the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) last week of their preparedness to conduct the general elections.
During a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, a review of preparations for the February 8 polls, with a specific focus on the law and order situation, provided assurances that all necessary arrangements were in place to handle any potential situations.