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Pakistan Army To Deploy Troops In PoK During Legislative Assembly Polls

Pakistan Army to deploy troops in PoK during legislative assembly polls


Islamabad, Jul 22 (PTI) The Pakistan Army said on Thursday that it will deploy troops in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) at the request of local authorities to maintain peace during the upcoming general election for the legislative assembly.

The top election official of the region last month announced to hold the elections for the PoK legislative assembly on July 25, despite appeals to postpone the polls for two months due to the threat of resurgence of the coronavirus.

Last year, Pakistan conducted the legislative assembly election in Gilgit-Baltistan.

India had slammed Pakistan for its decision to hold elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and said any action to alter the status of the militarily-occupied region has no legal basis.

India has also clearly conveyed to Pakistan that the entire Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of the country.

In a statement on Thursday, the Pakistan Army said that it has been requested by the regional election commission to provide secure environment during elections scheduled on July 25.

"Army troops will be deployed on Quick Reaction Force mode from July 22 to July 26 as per article 245 of the constitution," the statement added.

It further said that local police, assisted by LEAS (Law Enforcement Agencies) from other provinces and Civil Armed Forces, including (paramilitary) Rangers and FC (Frontier Corps), will be employed for smooth and peaceful conduct of the elections.

The elections will be held to elect 45 representatives of the legislative assembly, including 33 in PoK and 12 for Kashmiri migrants.

A triangular competition involving the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is expected. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has visited the areas and addressed rallies in support of his party candidates.

The PTI has nominated candidates for all the 45 constituencies while PML-N and PPP each issued tickets to candidates for 44 seats.

The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), the radical Islamist party which was banned in April this year by the Pakistan government for its violent activities, has nominated candidates for 40 constituencies.

The last general election for PoK Legislative Assembly was held in July 2016 and won by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. PTI SH ZH ZH

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