Troops on duty for Pakistani polls

Feb. 12, 2008 at 1:59 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Pakistani troops reportedly will be on duty throughout the country to ensure the security of parliamentary polls scheduled for Monday.

As the rest of world will be watching to see if Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's government conducts fair and free poll, the Pakistani military wants to prevent any unrest or violence that could mar the event.

The BBC reported there are fears any vote rigging charges could set off such violence. Military officials rejected any suggestion the army itself could influence the vote, the report said.

The officials said the troops were being deployed only at the request of civilian authorities.

The report said the risk of any unrest is feared to be highest in Sindh and the North West Frontier provinces. Sindh is the home of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated Dec. 27. The northwest region has been wracked by violence blamed on Islamist and Taliban militants.

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