Military fans out ahead of elections across Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s military fanned out the country due to Wednesday’s election, sending a huge number of troops to polling stations in a short however rancorous challenge that investigators say is still “up for grabs”.

Armed fighters observed closely as election officials in the capital Islamabad Tuesday distributed ballot boxes and voting materials for polling stations over the city.

The military have positioned more than 370,000 work force across the nation to guarantee the vote goes easily — the biggest such sending in Pakistan’s history on a election day.

“Deployment of troops completed across the country,” the military said in a statement late on Monday, saying the troops would work with local law enforcement to ensure “a safe and secure environment” for voting.

In spite of contentions and carnage, political gatherings proceeded to jumble the nation in the last days before the surveys, holding many rallies in key battleground regions.

The challenge has generally been refined to a two-party battle between imprisoned previous prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s officeholder Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party, and cricketing legend Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

“Our predictions are very murky right now,” Bilal Gilani, executive director of Gallup Pakistan, told AFP, adding that a huge chunk of voters remain undecided. “It’s still up for grabs.”

Political gatherings held their last encourages Monday night — before campaigning was suspended — in a last-jettison endeavor to energise voters.

“I am giving this task to all of you to wake up early on the 25th and cast your vote,” Khan told a huge number of gathering in the eastern city of Lahore.

In southern Punjab, PML-N leader and brother of the previous Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said victory was “certain”.

“Despite all the odds PML-N is winning the July 25 polls,” he was cited as saying by Pakistani media.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has ordered Pakistan Armed force to help them in the lead of up and coming general election, said the Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor in a statement on Saturday.

“ECP has requisitioned Pak Armed Forces under Article 220 & 245 of Constitution to assist them in free, fair & transparent conduct of Elections 2018,” the DG said.

“Shall undertake this mandated duty enabling people of Pakistan to freely exercise their democratic right in safe & secure environment”, he added.

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