Soon after it was reported that a large group of activists and PMLN supporters had staged a massive protest outside Pakistan Army General’s HQ and claimed that the upcoming Pakistan elections 2018 are rigged by the ISI and the results are already fixed, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday chopped off the power wings of the Pakistan military personnel which were set to be deployed across the polling stations on July 25. The following development comes after the ECP, on July 10, had extended powers to the armed personnel which were to be deployed at the polling booths from July 23 to July 27. As per reports, over 3,71,000 personnel are set to be deployed to make sure that the elections are conducted fairly and peacefully.
After the ECP had extended magisterial powers to the armed forces, several senators raised their voice against the decision taken by ECP and further condemned the powers allotted to army personnel.
Meanwhile, reacting to the criticism levelled by the senior senators, ECP said that their allegations were based merely on false data and not on facts.
Later, the ECP issued a notification limiting the powers to the army personnel. As per current reports, the forces would first have to inform the presiding officer of the polling booth before taking any action.
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Apart from this, the powers of police officers given to the army, under Section 194 Election Act 2017, has also been withdrawn. Under the powers, the forces were free to arrest the anti-social elements without arrest warrants.
As per the details rolled-out by the ECP, the Pakistan general elections will be held on July 25 from 6 am to 8 pm. As per the opinion polls, there are just three key players for the upcoming elections — PTI, PPP and PMLN. Polls suggest that Imran Khan’s PTI will emerge as a party with a maximum majority.