ECP calls for army deployment for by-polls in Punjab
07 August, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Despite the refusal of the Punjab government, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to deploy the army in the by-elections in the Punjab while the army has sought the polling scheme from the ECP for the by-polls.
The military officials also demanded details of sensitive and most sensitive polling stations from the ECP. On the other hand, the ECP has assured to provide the polling scheme to military officials within a couple of days. The military officials will decide to deploy contingents of army Jawans in the by-elections after receiving the polling scheme. The army will be deployed at over 1,000 sensitive polling stations.
The army on Tuesday assured the ECP of its full assistance in the holding of the by-election for 42 seats of the National Assembly and provincial legislatures."To discuss the security related matters, ECP's Additional Secretary Syed Sher Afgan met the military officials at the General Headquarters, Rawalpindi, and got this assurance," said a senior ECP official.
The commission was asked to share the details of the most sensitive and sensitive polling stations so that a security strategy could be duly evolved thereon.Within the next few days, the polling scheme, indicating the exact number of polling stations, polling booths, polling staff and most importantly the most sensitive and sensitive polling stations, said the official.
On its part, the Sindh Provincial Commissioner SM Tariq Qadri has already written to the ECP for deployment of troops, both inside and outside the polling stations, during the by-polls.In the letter written to the ECP, the provincial election commissioner has contended that in order to ensure smooth polling and stem chances of law and order, deployment of army personnel was crucial.
These constituencies are NA-235 (Sanghar), NA-237 (Thattha) and NA-254 (Karachi): PS-12 (Shikarpur), PS-64 (Mirpurkhas), PS-95 (Karachi) and PS-103 (Karachi).
Meanwhile, the ECP has served a notice on Anjum Aqeel Khan, the PML-N's former legislator and aspirant of party ticket for NA-48 in the August 22 by-election, to appear before it on August 12 in connection with his petition for his inclusion in the final list of candidates.
ECP sources said that after being denied the opportunity to run for the election following the withdrawal of his nomination papers on the last date, Anjum knocked at the doors of the Election Commission.
The returning officer for NA-48 Shah Rukh Arjumand, the sources pointed out, had reportedly told the PML-N politician that it was court and not a tuck shop that once he decides to withdraw nomination papers and then wants to get them back.
"It appears that after a cold-shouldered response from the party, he withdrew his candidature and then decided to run for the polls after finally getting the green signal," the sources maintained.Notices have also been sent to the Punjab provincial election commission and the district election commission to coordinate if needed.
The ECP has once again drawn the attention of political parties to the provisions of Article 13 of the Political Parties Order, 2002 which provides that every political party shall submit to the Election Commission, within 60 days from the close of each financial year, a consolidated statement of accounts of the party, duly audited by a chartered accountant. The last date for filing statement of accounts is August 29.
The commission reminded the political parties that a certificate signed by the party leader must accompany the statement of accounts stating that no funds from any source prohibited under the Political Parties Order, 2002, were received by the party.
The electoral body emphasised that the statement must contain an accurate financial position of the party and said the prescribed printed forms were available free of cost at the ECP and the offices of provincial election commissioners, Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
It contended that in terms of Article 14 of the Political Party Order, 2002, a party failing to submit its statement of accounts under Article 13 will not be eligible to obtain election symbol to contest elections for Majils-e-Shoora (Parliament) and provincial assemblies.
The statements, the commission noted, were required to be delivered to the secretary ECP at the Election Commission Secretariat, Constitution Avenue, G-5/2, Islamabad, through an office-bearer of the party, authorised by the party leader. Under rule 11 of the Political Parties Rules, 2002, the statements received through post, fax, courier service or any other mode will not be entertained.