ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has declared that given security concerns in sensitive areas, Pakistan Army personnel will accompany ECP staff during the transportation of ballot papers to designated locations for the upcoming general elections.
Responding to media reports on the security of ballot papers during transit to the offices of District Returning Officers (DROs), the ECP spokesperson emphasized the responsibility of concerned DROs or their designated officials to ensure the safe transportation of ballot papers after they are printed in the press.
These officers are tasked with overseeing the secure transport under their supervision and the protective custody of local police officials. However, acknowledging the seriousness of the situation in certain areas, the ECP has decided that Pakistan Army personnel will also provide security during the transportation of ballot papers.
This move aligns with the commitment made by the Pakistan Army’s top brass on December 28, 2023, during the 261st Corps Commanders’ Conference. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced that necessary military assistance would be provided to the ECP for the general elections scheduled for February 8, 2024.
The ISPR underscored its commitment, stating that requisite and necessary support would be extended to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections, highlighting the significance of security in the electoral process.
As the country prepares for the elections, this collaborative effort between the ECP and the Pakistan Army aims to enhance security measures during the critical phase of transporting and handling ballot papers. The decision reflects a proactive approach to address potential challenges and ensure the integrity of the electoral process.