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June 21, 2018

Massive bureaucratic shake-up ahead of polls

Top Story

June 21, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday gave go-ahead for massive postings and transfers in the Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan ahead of the 2018 general election.

There have been loud voices from political parties, particularly from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), for bureaucratic shake-up in the provinces, fearing the status quo would be a question mark on the transparency and fairness of the electoral exercise.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan had also written to the caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk to push for bureaucratic reshuffle, mainly in the Punjab and Sindh, as those posted and appointed by the PML-N government in the center and in the Punjab and the PPP government in Sindh would influence the exercise.

He had also sought removal of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra.

With regard to the Punjab, the services of 18 police officers and 28 senior government officers were returned to the federal government, whereas transfer of 64 officers of the Punjab police had also been approved by the Election Commission, in addition to approval for transfer of 77 SSPs, AIGs and SPs.

Likewise, the Election Commission also approved the transfer of 34 secretaries and managing directors and 35 deputy commissioners in the province.

The commission approved the transfer and posting of 14 secretaries, 14 deputy inspectors general of police, two assistant inspectors general of police and several superintendents of police, six commissioners and 33 deputy commissioners throughout Sindh, including a number of other senior police officers.

Similarly, the posting and transfer of three secretaries, six commissioners, 33 deputy commissioners, 64 assistant commissioners and several SDPOs in Balochistan was also approved.

The respective governments of Sindh and Balochistan sent lists of proposed officers to be appointed in place of transferred officials and these were also approved by the commission.

Meanwhile, the commission has cautioned political parties and candidates against displaying images of irrelevant personalities on publicity material, saying any violation of the code of conduct will not be tolerated. In a statement, the commission maintained that the code of conduct had already been issued and its violation would not be spared.

The commission has mentioned the size of posters and banners and emphasised that there should be no image of irrelevant personalities on posters and banners while panaflex and hoarding have been banned.

“All political parties and candidates are cautioned to abide by the code of conduct while officials concerned as well as the Election Commission’s monitoring teams have also been given instructions in this connection,” the commission said.

It contended that the officials concerned and monitoring teams had been asked to act strictly in accordance with the law and show no leniency at all to the violators.

Agencies add: Meanwhile, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf stepped down from his post on Wednesday.

“I believe that in the wake of imminent general elections, it would only be correct for me to tender my resignation from constitutional office, lest it be perceived by any party that my continued presence will impede the process of free and fair elections,” Ausaf said in his resignation letter to President Mamnoon Hussain.

“The democratic transition, and its preservation, is a cornerstone of our Constitution and our democracy.”

Ausaf said it had indeed been both an honour and privilege to have served this country as the attorney general.

Ausaf was appointed attorney general of Pakistan on March 29, 2016.

Meanwhile, the caretaker Punjab government also removed Advocate General Asma Hamid.

Additional Advocate General Muhammad Shan Gul has been given the additional charge of Advocate General Punjab following Hamid’s removal. Imtiaz Siddiqui is likely to be appointed to the post.

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