Pak Army chief seeks public support during elections

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Islamabad, Feb 16 (UNI) Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has asked all segments of the society to help the army and the law enforcement agencies maintain law and order during the general elections on Monday.

He made this request while presiding over a meeting at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.

The General expressed satisfaction over the army's deployment to maintain law and order during the general elections, strictly in accordance with the dictates of the Constitution.

Gen Kayani reiterated the importance of holding the elections in a peaceful manner.

Chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said the deployment of armed forces had been completed at all the sensitive polling stations identified by the civil administration.

Some 81,000 troops have been deployed outside 8,923 'most sensitive' polling stations. Among them, 34,000 are army personnel and 47,000 of Rangers, Frontier Corps and Frontier Constabulary.

He said 95 battalions have been deployed in Punjab where 3,787 of the 37,636 polling stations had been marked as 'most sensitive.' In Sindh, where 1,575 of the 13,405 polling stations have been declared 'most sensitive,' 27 battalions have been deployed.

Fifteen battalions have been deployed for 1,350 of the 3,457 polling stations in Balochistan.

In the NWFP and FATA, where 1,094 of the 8,173 polling stations have been declared sensitive, 12 battalions have been deployed.

In Fata, all the 1,122 polling stations have been declared most sensitive. The number of troops in a battalion varies between 500 and 600.

Talking to a TV channel, Maj Gen Abbas said in addition to provincial police force, 47,000 troops of civil armed forces had also been deployed. The overall strength of the armed forces was 81,000, in addition to the provincial police force.

There are 8,900 most sensitive polling stations throughout the country with 3,700 in Punjab and above 1,500 in Sindh, he stated.

He said the Army will not interfere or assist in the election process in any way, rather it will come into action only when there is a law and order situation beyond the capacity of civil administration to control it.

The Army will be moved to action only on the request of the civil administration if so required, he added.


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