The Pakistan Army troops will perform only “Quick Reaction Force” duties in case of any law and order situation arising during polling on Sunday, the military’s media wing said on Saturday.

According to the media reports, 50,000 army and para-military troops would perform duty to assist civil administration.

An Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said that troops carried out reconnaissance at “the most sensitive locations in respective areas as third-tier responders to any law and order situation in the province.”

The ISPR said the reconnaissance was carried out in line with the directions of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

In light of the political tensions ahead of the by-polls, the government has also decided to deploy Frontier Constabulary (FC) in addition to Rangers personnel.

The government has also decided to impose a ban on the movement of the armed workers of any political party in the constituencies where the by-polls are being held.

SANAULLAH’S WARNING: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Saturday warned PTI Chairman Imran Khan against disrupting the peaceful proceedings of by-elections by inciting riots or violence.

“The law will take its due course if anyone tries to sabotage the writ of the state by indulging in unlawful activities,” the minister said in a tweet.

Punjab will witness intense political activity tomorrow as the make-or-break by-elections on 20 hotly-contested provincial constituencies will take place — that will decide the fate of Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz.

The seats fell vacant after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) “de-seated” 25 PTI dissident lawmakers on May 23 — which included five lawmakers elected on reserved seats for women and minorities — for voting for PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz in the Punjab chief minister’s election.


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