Election Commission of Pakistan Takes Important Decisions in Its Meeting

Islamabad: A meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was held today under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan, Mr. Justice (R) Hamid Ali Mirza and attended by four Hon’ble Members Election Commission of Pakistan, namely, Justice (Retd) Muhammad Roshan Essani, Justice (Retd) Riaz Kayani, Justice (Retd) Shezad Akbar Khan and Justice (Retd) Fazal-ur-Rehman. Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan, Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan and other senior officers also attended the meeting.

2. After due deliberation and discussion on different important issues/items of Agenda, the Election Commission of Pakistan, inter alia, took the following decisions unanimously: i) A letter received from the Secretary, Ministry of Interior for routing all correspondence with NADRA through his Ministry was considered in detail and the ECP termed it against its independence and autonomy stating that Article 220 of the Constitution of Pakistan categorically provides that “It shall be the duty of all executive authorities in the Federation and in Provinces to assist the Commissioner and the Election Commission in the discharge of his or their functions”.

In this regard, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in a case titled Shiekh Rashid Ahmed vs Govt. of Punjab (PLD 2010 SC 573) has also remarked that “Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commission are absolutely independent with exclusive jurisdiction while performing duties with in terms of Part VIII of the Constitution in which no interference is allowable by any of the parties interested by resorting to any manner and mode…”

ii) The documents submitted by the following 6 newly formed political parties were found to be in conformity with the provisions of the Political Parties Order, 2002 and directed to be retained on record in accordance with law:

1. Muttahida Muslim League
2. Ittehad Alam-e-Islam
3. Muslim Movement Pakistan
4. Awami Tehreek
5. Sindh Dost Ittehad
6. Pakistan Liberation Front

ii) The requests of allotment of symbols from two already recognized political parties i-e Hazara Awami Ittehad and Pakistan Basic Right Movement were considered and symbols of Foot Ball and Bridge, according to their preference from the approved list of symbols, were respectively approved to be allotted.

iii) On another request from Dr. Mian Ihsan Bari, Khaadim-e-Aala of a party named “Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek”, for change of the designation of the party head as proposed by its Central Working Committee as “Adnaa Khaadim Pakistan” was also approved.

IV) The issue of entitlement of Kashmiris, residing in Pakistan, for registration in the Electoral Rolls 2011 was discussed in detail and keeping in view its importance, it was decided to convene a special meeting of all concerned on 30th September 2011 to resolve the matter amicably.

V) For ensuring fair and credible elections and to avoid possibility of any rigging in elections, the ECP approved the proposal for using special imported paper with watermark and non-market specifications for Ballot Papers during the forthcoming National, Provincial and Local Government Elections.

VI) The use of magnetized ink for obtaining thumb impression by the presiding officer for casting of vote was also approved as it will ensure transparency, create deterrence against casting of bogus votes and eliminate the possibility of impersonation.

For more information, contact:
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)
Election Commission of Pakistan Secretariat
Election House, Constitution Avenue G-5/2, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 920 1975, +9251 920 6062
Fax: +9251 920 5402, +9251 920 5300