ECP orders transfer of all federal, provincial secretaries

ECP orders transfer of all federal, provincial secretaries

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday asked the caretaker governments in the Centre and in the provinces to shuffle and transfer all the federal and provincial secretaries.

The caretaker governments have also got the powers of transfers and postings.The electoral body directed the caretakers to assess whether the chairpersons and chief executives of all the autonomous and semi-autonomous or state-owned bodies, IGPs, CCPOs, city commissioners, DCOs, DPOs, SHOs, patwaris and EDOs were independent individuals and transfer those who did not meet this criterion.

The ECP, however, noted that if the caretaker government considered that a federal or provincial secretary need not be transferred or shuffled, it might refrain from doing so and intimate the same to the electoral body.The ECP notification made it clear that the directive shall not apply to specific transfers made under its directions.The commission claimed that it was expedient to ensure that all those who were in the service of Pakistan perform their duties to serve the public interest and assist the ECP in the conduct of general elections 2013, fairly, justly, honestly and in accordance with the law.

“It is also expedient to take pre-emptive steps so that no employee in the service of Pakistan should try to influence the election process in any manner to favour any particular party or a candidate,” the commission said in the notification.Meanwhile, in order to cope with the extraordinary situation, arising out of massive hits, the ECP has evolved a two-pronged strategy: According to Strategy-1 devised for returning officers, all 425 returning officers were directed to send summary sheets containing names and the CNIC numbers along with their constituency on a daily basis to the ECP Secretariat, Islamabad via fax.

For this purpose, a cell was established to perform online assessment with the assistance of Nadra, NAB, FBR and SBP. “We have to work against time, that is to complete the cycle like obtaining information from returning officers nationwide and forwarding to all these four departments and then obtaining all these documents online and returning back to the returning officers all over the country,” said an IT Wing senior official while talking to The News.

He said the six days meant for filing papers were utilised in getting replies from NAB, Nadra, FBR and SBP about each contesting candidate.This process, he noted, was to assist the returning officers for summary inquiry during the scrutiny days.According to strategy 2, (for the general public), each returning officer is requested to send all the copies of the nomination forms to the ECP Secretariat, Islamabad via courier for digitisation (scanning). “After receiving these copies of the forms, we start digitising it and placing all these on the website. Now the process has already started and the ECP has started receiving copies of nomination forms,” he noted.

The ECP is uploading all nomination forms that it has received and will continue till last nomination form is loaded on its website.Meanwhile, on the second day of the scrutiny, the ECP completed scrutiny of over 8,000 nomination papers and sent them to the returning officers, as it continued receiving nomination papers from Balochistan and the number has reached 13,048.Strict scrutiny of nomination papers according to articles 62 and 63 of the constitution will continue till April 7, followed by filing of appeals before the appellate courts against acceptance or rejection of papers. – TheNews