ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday decided to carry out door-to-door verification of voters’ lists in Karachi in line with the Supreme Court order with the help of the army and also undertake delimitation in the mega city from January 17.
The ECP met here under the chairmanship of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim.ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan told a media briefing after the Election Commission meeting that the clock had started ticking for them with regard to the holding of general elections. “The countdown has begun,” he said.
He noted that manpower of 18,000 would be required for voter verification in Karachi for which letters would be written to the concerned departments, including the Ministry of Defence and the corps commander in this connection.
The secretary said that many innovative things would be introduced during the general elections such as the photo of a voter on the voters’ lists to be provided to the presiding officers and taking a voter’s thumb impression during voting. He pointed out that the code of conduct would be finalised with the assistance of the Senate’s special committee, which had already been circulated to the stakeholders for their views and suggestions.
Answering questions, he noted that on law and order, a meeting would be held on January 2 and the Ministry of Interior and representatives from the provinces would attend it to thrash out a strategy for ensuring peace during the electoral exercise.
Ishtiak Ahmed explained that a mechanism would be worked out based on a working paper. He added that the presiding officer concerned would be responsible for taking action against the violators of the law using powers of a magistrate. The secretary noted the help of the army, rangers and police would be taken for the maintenance of law and order.
He said a committee had already been formed with regard to security at 80,000 polling stations. He added that district returning officers would give the security plan of their respective districts.
To a question, he said that parliament would be dissolved on March 16 next year, and added that the Election Commission’s total focus was on preparations for the general elections.He said army personnel would be deployed at polling stations in Karachi, sensitive areas of Balochistan and Fata.