Islamabad: Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Wednesday held a crucial meeting with the Chief Election Commissioner and other civilian officials to discuss preparations for the upcoming general election, including the verification of voters` lists.
Against the backdrop of moves by the Supreme Court and the Election Commission to rope in the army to ensure free and fair polls, Kayani visited the National Database and Registration Authority to review preparations for the election expected to be held early next year.
Kayani told Chief Election Commissioner Fakharuddin G Ibrahim that the army would extend all possible help to ensure the polls are held on time and in a free and fair manner, media reports said.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Ibrahim said Kayani had assured him of all possible cooperation.
Ibrahim further said he was convinced the election would be clean due to the army?s cooperation.
Asked by journalists if he had had talked to Kayani about stopping the interference of intelligence agencies in the election process, Ibrahim said he had spoken about "everything" got a "positive response".
He said he had also discussed security arrangements for the polls.
"I talked with the general on (the situation in) Karachi and he made a promise that he was ready to do whatever we need along with the (paramilitary Pakistan) Rangers. He said very clearly that all directions, instructions or requests made by the Election Commission for holding free and fair elections, he will help me in achieving that objective," Ibrahim said.
"The army chief has assured me of all possible cooperation in maintaining law and order during the general election to ensure transparency and peaceful polling," he added.
Kayani also assured the Election Commission that the army will help in the door-to-door verification of electoral rolls in Karachi, which reportedly has a large number of fake voters.
The verification process is expected to start on January 5.
NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik briefed Kayani, the Chief Election Commissioner and Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retired) Asif Yasin Malik on the revision of electoral rolls.
He said 83,797 amendments and corrections had been made in the rolls.
The electoral rolls published on July 31 will be used in the upcoming polls.
The rolls contain 85 million voters from the four provinces, the capital territory of Islamabad and the tribal areas.
While speaking with the media, Chief Election Commissioner Ibrahim dismissed any possibility of the general election being delayed.
"The rumours about a delay in polls carry no weight. The election will be held on time and more and more eligible people should get registered as voters," he said.