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Army to provide security for Pakistan's general elections 2018: military

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Pakistan's army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday directed the armed forces to perform security duties for the country's upcoming general elections to be held on July 25, the army's media wing the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

According to a statement from ISPR, the directive was issued at a Corps Commanders' Conference held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, a garrison city adjacent to the capital Islamabad.

The meeting chaired by Bajwa discussed the provision of assistance to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the free, fair and transparent conduct of general elections 2018.

"Bajwa directed that this national duty (should) be performed with utmost responsibility and without losing any focus on defense and internal security challenges in hand," said the statement.

The announcement came after the country's Election Commission wrote a letter to the Ministry of Defense seeking the army's supervision to conduct the general elections.

The letter said that 350,000 military personnel would be needed to maintain law and order situation across the country on the election day.

The soldiers will be deployed inside and outside the polling stations during the balloting exercise, the ECP said.

The ECP has established 185,000 polling stations for the elections for the lower house of the country's parliament and the four provincial assemblies.

Monitoring cameras will be installed at 20,000 sensitive polling stations in different parts of the country while close coordination would also be maintained with the National Counter Terrorism Authority for security issues, the ECP said.

The charge of the country's official printing press where the ballot papers will be printed was also handed over to the army on Wednesday.

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