ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday dismissed news reports about the appointment of retired officers as district returning officers/returning officers as baseless, stating that no such decision had been made.
An ECP spokesperson, in a statement, highlighted the Commission’s ongoing communication with provincial and district election commissioners for furnishing updated lists of officers for the appointment as DROs / ROs.
“It is a continuous procedure wherein the Election Commission regards the appointment of DROs / ROs as highly significant to guarantee a fair, transparent, and impartial general election,” he added.
Meanwhile, Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi on Monday clarified that his tweet concerning the president reflected the government’s stance.
It was not his personal viewpoint as he considered the office of president, who is also the supreme commander of the Pakistan Armed Forces, as a symbol of the federation, he said while talking in a private news channel programme (G for Gharida).
Referring to the diverse public reaction to his statement, Solangi said the person holding the office of president was not the representative for any political party, rather he was the president of the entire nation and should play his role accordingly.
The minister said that every one knew that the treatment meted out to political opponents during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s government was not ideal.
The president displayed “favoritism to the ruling party” as evident from the dissolution of the National Assembly, which was in fact not possible once the no-confidence motion(against the prime minister” was moved, he added.
The assembly’s dissolution was an unconstitutional act, which was later declared by the ape court null and void, the minister said.
Citing letters and interviews of the president, Solangi alleged that he was “giving the impression of a party worker”.
The minister reaffirmed the on February 8, 2024, the country would witness the general elections. The caretaker government was in continuous contact with the Election Commission of Pakistan to ensure that its all requirements were met, he added.
He said all the decisions in the caretaker government were made by the prime minister, who was the competent authority.
He said Minister for Privatization Fawad Hasan Fawad served the country as a civil servant for nearly 35 years, and had working relationship with politicians across the divide.
He recalled that he himself had served as the Director General of Radio Pakistan during the Pakistan Peoples Party government, but it did not imply that he was a representative of PPP.
Had Fawad Hasan Fawad had any affiliation with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, then he should have preferred a long stint as a minister in the previous government instead of for two to three months, he asked.