DG ISPR have a statement over Opposition Allegation

The army on Wednesday indicated that it had no difficulties without getting a part in holding of elections in the country later on.

Army spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, while taking part in a talk show on a private channel, said that Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had already proposed to political leaders to invent a system and create an environment that could finish the military’s role in elections.

In response to another question, the spokesman said that his comments always represented the army’s institutional position on topics and were not his views.

The army has provided security in most of the elections held in the country by guarding polling stations and providing security cover to the election staff and material throughout their movement.

Elections held last year saw the largest episode in the country’s electoral history as 371,388 troops were involved.

The army’s growing function has drawn criticism from political parties, a few of whom alleged that the army and intelligence agencies affected the electoral process last year. In view of the concerns, the opposition parties have included the demand for finishing army’s role in elections in the four-point charter of demands for finishing the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam’s Islamabad sit-in.

Maj Gen Ghafoor said that the army gets involved in elections when requisitioned by the authorities for assistance under the Constitution. “It is not that the Constitution provides us a role or we need to have one. It’s always the conclusion of the authorities of the day. There’s also input of other parties. Army has no function in the matter,” he said.

He said that discussions on how many troops to set up and where to deploy them take place after the army has been requisitioned under the Constitution.

The armed forces are requisitioned under Articles 220 and 245 of the Constitution. Article 220 obligates all executive authorities in the federation and from the states to assist the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commission of Pakistan in the discharge of the roles, whereas Article 245 pertains to requisitioning of armed forces in aid of civil power.

When the troops are not required, they won’t come. It is up to the authorities and other political parties to pick on it,” he maintained.

The military spokesman, in response to a question, ruled out any role for the army in defusing the political situation created by the. The army as an institution has a role had it in the past [. …] It is for the government and the opposition to deal with the matter. It is their domain and their occupation.”

He recalled that the army had during the 2014 sit-in also deployed troops at the federal capital for protecting important buildings at the Red Zone on the government’s instructions.

About the allegations related to disturbance by”institutions” in political matters, Maj Gen Ghafoor said the army is too obsessed with its own national safety responsibilities to indulge in these activities or even to react to such allegations.

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