RAWALPINDI, July 21 (NNI): The Election Commission of Pakistan has requisitioned the armed forces under the constitution to assist in the free, fair and transparent general elections.
This was stated by Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor in a press statement Saturday.
He said that requisition had been made under Article 220 and 245 of the constitution.
He said the army shall undertake the mandated duty enabling people to freely exercise their democratic right in safe and secure environment.
Article 220 states that it shall be the duty of all executive authorities in the federation and in the provinces to assist the Commissioner and the Election Commission in the discharge of his or their functions.
Article 245 relates to the functions of the armed forces stating it shall under the directions of the federal government defend Pakistan against external aggression or threat of war, and subject to law, act in aid of civil power when called upon to do so.
The army has reaffirmed that it has no direct role in the conduct of upcoming elections and is merely assisting the ECP.
Major Gen. Ghafoor on Thursday represented the General Headquarters (GHQ) and told the Senate Standing Committee on Interior that troops are liable to follow the code of conduct of the election commission on the polling day.
He said that armed forces had always lent support to civil institutions of the country and there were no obstructions in the communication process with the electoral body.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has also said the armed forces will perform their responsibilities according to the code of conducts of the ECP.
The army chief visited the Election Support Center in Rawalpindi on Thursday and directed to provide complete assistance for the upcoming elections according to election rules and mandate. He said the peaceful and secure environment should be ensured to let masses use their democratic right freely.