Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor addressed an 'important' press conference and said that Army will only facilitate Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the conduction of Elections.  

The DG ISPR began his talks by addressing concerns regarding the July 25 general election.

He said, "I am constantly asked whether elections will be held or not but Pakistan is headed towards the general election. This is the third election which will ensure the democratic process."

DG Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) assured on Tuesday the army will fulfill its election duties in a "non-political and impartial manner".

"The armed forces are not directly involved in conducting the election," he addressed the concerns regarding the July 25 general election.

The military spokesperson clarified, "The armed forces will only support the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the tasks they have sought our help with."

Major Ghafoor said, "I am constantly asked whether elections will be held or not but Pakistan is headed towards the general election and this is the third election which will ensure the democratic process."

He stated, "3,71,000 personnel will be deployed on election day with two soldiers inside each polling station and two outside", the DG ISPR said this is not the first time that troops will be deployed to overlook the election process. He said, "The armed forces have rendered services during previous elections as well."

he further added that a total 20,831 polling stations have been declared sensitive.

DG ISPR clarified, "We only have to transport the ballot papers in a secure manner and will not be involved in anything else. We will not take over the printing material, the ECP staff will handle that."

Moreover, he confirmed that troops will remain deployed at printing presses to ensure no ballot papers are printed after. 

DG ISPR said, "In Rawalpindi we have established an army election support centre, headed by a three-star general, to coordinate and if needed communicate with ECP."

Furthermore, Major General Ghafoor revealed that the ECP has issued a code of conduct for the military. He said, "We are bound to implement a code of conduct issued by the ECP when executing our duties."

He upheld, "Our top priority is to maintain peace and security in the country."

He added, "We will carry out our duties in a non-political and impartial manner without any interference in the election process." 

The DG ISPR shared that the ECP has made a system through which pictures will be taken and transmitted to returning officers to ensure that when the votes are counted they are neither less nor more.

Major General Ghafoor also requested the media to not question the troops deployed at polling stations.

"I'd like to request media persons to refrain from approaching troops deployed at the stations. We do not have any political party or alignment and are working only for the country," he said.

The DG ISPR also hoped for an increased voter turnout and asked the nation to come out and vote. He said, "No matter who you support, come out and vote for them."

while responding to a question regarding allegations that although polling may be transparent there are measures being taken to ensure it's not a "level playing field," he said, "Has there ever been an election in which at least one political party hasn't alleged rigging?"

When asked about candidates being 'forced' to switch parties, the spokesperson questioned, "Has there ever been an election in which candidates haven't jumped ship?"

DG ISPR said, "There was a different environment then and terrorists threatened to not allow politicians to campaign."

Answering a question regarding the alleged role of ISI’s Major General Faiz Hamid in matters outside his domain, the army spokesperson dismissed the impression, stating that Maj Gen Hamid has played an important role in combating terrorism and his detractors do not understand the scope of his post.

Furthermore, the DG ISPR said, "Neither me nor our field commanders give their opinions on a daily basis but talk shows are held everyday from 7:00 pm onwards where people share their opinions and say whatever they wish."

He questioned, "106 million Pakistanis will vote but is it possible for us to go to every citizen and tell them who to vote for?"  

"Armed forces have a credibility and we cannot give a wrong order to a soldier risking his life for the nation," he said while rejecting that the military is attempting to 'influence' the election.

He further urged, "Every single person should go out and vote for a candidate of their choice without any fear."

Major General Ghafoor further clarified that the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) had no role in the incident in Multan wherein an election hopeful was beaten up. 

With regards to reports that the 'jeep' electoral symbol signifies association with the army, he quipped, "The jeep is not even the army jeep."

"Electoral symbols are neither issued by the armed forces nor the ISI," the DG ISPR upheld.

"Please stop looking at everything with suspicion," he asserted.

With regards to a question regarding the involvement of banned outfits in the polls, he said, "The ECP has a process of registering political parties and anyone who has objections can approach the electoral body."

Speaking about social media misuse which he had addressed at length during his last press conference, DG ISPR said, "We do not want to control social media."

The DG ISPR also showed a clip regarding training of troops for the general election.

Responding to a question regarding "extraterrestrial beings", Major General Ghafoor said, "We are not political."

In response to a question that whether the army will accept Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan as prime minister, Major General Ghafoor said, "Whoever the people of Pakistan elect whether it be Mr A,B or Z, will be the prime minister for us and the nation."

"Who are we not to accept anybody," he concluded.