ECP, ministry agree on special security in sensitive areas
31 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) agreed on Wednesday to undertake special security measures in the troubled areas, especially Karachi, during verification of voter lists.
It has been decided that security arrangements will be extended, when required, to ensure a smooth and transparent voters lists verification process. The members of the ECP met with the Ministry of Defence secretary Lt Gen Asif Yasin Malik in connection with the demand of the leaders of the political parties staging a sit-in outside the office of the provincial election commissioner.
A threadbare discussion was held during the meeting on the issues related to security of the electoral rolls' verification process. The Ministry of Defence secretary assured provision of secure environment for door-to-door verification exercise being undertaken by the election commission. Both sides agreed to undertake special security measures in potentially troubled areas and extend them, when required, to ensure a smooth and transparent verification process.
Lt Gen Malik informed the commission's members that an Army Assistance Cell has been collocated in the office of the Sindh election commissioner for better coordination between the election commission and military authorities in Karachi. The Sindh election commissioner and his staff will do detailed coordination with military authorities in the metropolis, and the arrangements will be reviewed periodically through meetings at provincial and Centre levels. The defence secretary assured the ECP that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure the security for electoral rolls' verification exercise.
Meanwhile, the ECP has taken serious notice of violations of its directive relating to ban in diversion of development funds to new projects and direct fresh recruitment in federal and provincial governments. An ECP spokesman said that all kinds of recruitments in any ministry, division, department or institution of the federal government or any department or institution of any provincial and local government is banned forthwith except recruitments by the federal or a provincial public service commissions.
The diversion of funds already allocated to various development projects in the country is banned forthwith and the spending of funds so diverted shall stand frozen forthwith, the commission said. A news item published in a local English daily stated that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has diverted Rs 1.2 billion from flood donation fund towards constituencies of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP). According to the report, the premier took the decision on a request by the Cabinet Division (the body overseeing the local and international donations).
A separate news item in another local English daily stated that Sindh Auqaf Department Chief Administrator Abdul Rehman Channa was kidnapped and his staff was assaulted on January 29 when he allegedly refused to obey the orders of the Sindh government to issue funds to PPP legislators and appoint 73 officials in his department.
Similarly, a report in a local Urdu daily read that the railways authorities in Peshawar have conducted written test for the recruitment against 33 vacant posts of junior assistants (train), and 1,572 candidates participated in it. Taking serious notice of the above actions, the ECP has asked the Cabinet Division secretary; Ministry of Railways secretary, and the Sindh chief secretary to offer their comments in this regard within the next seven days.