ECP directs PM Imran regarding restriction on visiting areas of any local council after issuance of election schedule
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday attended the launching event of the Pakistan Card Initiative despite orders from the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) not to attend events in any local council ahead of the local bodies election in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Earlier today, the Peshawar regional election commissioner issued a letter saying that it had come to the ECPs's notice through a news report published by Dawn that the premier is expected to visit Peshawar to launch the Pakistan Card Initiative.
The letter read: "[...] your attention is drawn towards instructions contained in ECP's notification No. F. 16(1)2021-LGE-Kp, dated 4th November 2021 [...] regarding restriction on visiting the area of any local council and announcing any development scheme after issuance of the election schedule."
Referring to the relevant provision of ECP's Code of Conduct, restricting the president, prime minister, speaker, deputy speaker of any assembly, chairman and deputy chairman of any Senate, federal or provincial ministers, chief ministers, advisers to the prime minister, or any holder of a public office from visiting an area where an election is being held.
However, defying all directions the premier attended the launching ceremony of the Micro Health Insurance Programme under the Kamyab Pakistan Programme.
It is pertinent to mention that the premier was cautioned by the ECP officials against a violation of the Code of Conduct and had stated that the Commission would, otherwise, take legal action against him under the Election Act, 2017.
PM Khan urges elected representatives to visit their constituencies
PM Imran Khan said that the health insurance programme would also be implemented in Punjab from January 1, 2022, and the entire population of the province would be covered in three months. The government of Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan also intended to launch the health insurance programme.
“Free health insurance card is a great blessing for poor people and low-income groups,” he said, adding that the universal free health coverage in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was unprecedented as such facilities were not available even in the developed countries.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also mentioned the government’s historic Ehsas food subsidy package worth Rs 120 billion that would benefit over 20 million households.
Under the Ehsaas Ration Discount Programme, he apprised the people present at the event that groceries will be provided to about 20 million families by covering 130 million people and giving them a 30% discount on the purchase of essential food items including wheat flour, ghee, pulses, adding about 53% of the country’s total population would be benefited.
Families with less than Rs50,000 per month income are eligible for the Ehsaas Ration discount programme.
The prime minister urged the elected representatives to visit their constituencies and inform people and owners of grocery stores about the benefits and procedures of the Ehaas Ration Programme’s registration.