ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday decided to deploy Pakistan Army for peaceful holding of by-election on July 27 on a National Assembly seat in Karachi that fell vacant after the demise of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MNA Aamir Liaquat Hussain.

Army troops would be deployed outside polling stations.

The ECP sent a letter to the defence secretary stating that in terms of article 220 of the Constitution it decided to deploy Pakistan Army as the Quick Reaction Force to “provide level playing field & conducive environment” to all the stakeholders and to avoid any untoward situation during the by-poll.

Drawing the defence secrtary’s attention towards the prevailing law and order situation in the constituency, the letter stated that “it would be highly appreciated that, necessary directions be issued to quarter concerned for deployment of sufficient strength of Pakistan Army as QRF/ Stand-by mode, in NA-245 Karachi- EAST from 26th July”.

The development came a day after the disclosure that the army was unwilling to deploy troops inside polling stations for the upcoming electoral exercises.

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2022

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