ISPR: Army troops to be deployed for AJK elections

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army will deploy troops in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on “Quick Reaction Force mode” from July 22 to July 26 under Article 245 of the Constitution, the army’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), notified on Thursday.

“Army has been requested by the AJK Election Commission to provide secure environment during AJK elections scheduled on July 25,” the statement issued by ISPR noted.

“AJK Police, assisted by law enforcement agencies from other provinces and civil armed forces — including Rangers and the FC — will be employed for smooth and peaceful conduct of AJK elections,” the statement read.

A day earlier, daily The News had reported that the political parties contesting the AJK Legislative Assembly election had agreed on calling in the army for security and support.

The publication said the decision was taken with the heads of all political parties present. Political leaders had suggested to the AJK Election Commission that the army be deployed at polling stations to maintain law and order on polling day.

A member of the AJK Election Commission, Farhat Ali Mir, had been reported as saying that the meeting had been called for the purpose of seeking the political leadership’s consensus on the deployment of the army.

Earlier, the AJK government had also granted magisterial powers to army officers summoned on July 25 to assist the electoral body and administration in maintaining law and order on polling day.