Responding to criticism, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday clarified that security forces are being given the same powers as in every other election.

ECP secretary Babar Yaqoob, who was addressing a press conference in Islamabad, also reiterated that on election day, army personnel will be present within the polling station as well as outside it.

"Security forces are being given the same powers as given in every other election," the ECP secretary clarified, adding that the army is being called in on the request of political parties.

Security officials present at polling stations will also be responsible for reporting any discrepancies they witness during the polling.

"CCTV cameras are also being installed at 18,000 polling stations," Yaqoob said while clarifying that the cameras are being put up in spots where voters' secrecy will not be compromised.

He also said that mobile phones will not be allowed within the premises of the polling station.

The ECP secretary also said that the army is only being involved in security arrangements and that "the army is not conducting the elections."

During the press conference, the ECP secretary said that candidate receiving threats or being pressured to recuse themselves from the election should inform the commission about the matter.

He also said that the caretaker prime minister and agencies have been informed about the threat to the lives of various election candidates.

"All four provincial governments have been handed instructions for providing safety to election candidates and the commission is keeping an eye on the security arrangements made for them," Yaqoob said.

The ECP secretary also confirmed that the chief election commissioner has received a letter from the Facebook management.

"The letter has warned the commission about fake accounts posting bogus news on the website," Yaqoob said, adding that Facebook has created a team to tackle the situation.



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