By Sajjad Hussein
Islamabad, Jul 22 (PTI) The Pakistani military announced Thursday that it will deploy troops to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) at the request of local authorities to keep the peace in the upcoming general elections for the Legislative Assembly .
The region’s top electoral official announced last month that elections for the PoK Legislative Assembly would be held on July 25, despite calls to postpone the elections by two months due to the threat of a resurgence of the coronavirus.
Pakistan last year held legislative elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.
India had criticized Pakistan for its decision to hold elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and said any action to change the status of the militarily occupied region had no legal basis.
India has also made it clear to Pakistan that all of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the Gilgit and Baltistan regions, are an integral part of the country.
In a statement released Thursday, the Pakistani military said the regional electoral commission had asked it to provide a secure environment during elections scheduled for July 25.
“Army troops will be deployed in Rapid Reaction Force mode from July 22 to 26 in accordance with article 245 of the constitution,” the statement added.
He further stated that the local police, assisted by the LEAS (law enforcement agencies) of other provinces and civilian armed forces, including the Rangers (paramilitaries) and the FC (border corps), will be used for the proper conduct of the elections.
Elections will take place to elect 45 representatives of the Legislative Assembly, 33 of them in PoK and 12 for Kashmiri migrants.
A triangular competition involving Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is expected. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the regions and addressed rallies in support of his party’s candidates.
The PTI nominated candidates for all 45 constituencies while the PML-N and PPP each issued tickets to candidates for 44 seats.
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), the radical Islamist party that was banned in April this year by the Pakistani government for its violent activities, has nominated candidates for 40 constituencies.
The last general elections for the PoK Legislative Assembly were held in July 2016 and were won by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PTI SH ZH ZH
Disclaimer: – This story was not edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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