Islamabad: Ballot papers for Pakistan`s upcoming general election will be printed in three cities under the supervision of the army, the military`s media arm said on Saturday.
Troops were being deployed in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore for the printing of ballot papers, the Inter-Services Public Relations said.
"Army would be deployed where the ballot papers will be printed," said a statement from ISPR.
The printing of ballot papers for the May 11 general election will be carried out under the army`s supervision, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
Contingents will be deployed for this purpose in the three cities tonight. Troops were seen taking up position near the printing press in the federal capital an hour after the announcement by the military’s media arm.
TV news channels reported that the Election Commission decided to ask the army to deploy soldiers as part of the overall security arrangements for the polls. The Election Commission will print 180 million ballot papers.
Authorities will embed 11 security features in two types of ballot papers to prevent fraud during the voting.
Green ballot papers will be printed for National Assembly constituencies while ballot papers for constituencies of the four provincial assemblies will be white in colour.
A total of 120 million ballot papers will be printed by the Printing Corporation of Pakistan while another 60 million ballot papers will be printed at the Pakistan Security Printing Corporation.
According to the Election Commission? the printing of ballot papers will be completed by April 24.
On Thursday, Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani chaired a meeting of top commanders in Rawalpindi to discuss plans to provide security to the polls. The meeting was given comprehensive briefings on the external and internal security environment, the military said.
Kayani also held a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim on April 6 and discussed security arrangements for the polls.
During the meeting, Kayani assured Ebrahim that the army fully supported efforts being made by the Election Commission to hold free, fair and credible elections.
The landmark general election will mark the first democratic transition of power in Pakistan?s 66-year history.