ECP tasks authorities to strip Sindh ex-ministers of protocol immediately

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has ordered immediate compliance to its guidelines concerning the official protocols and appointment of government officials in provinces after the dissolution of assemblies.

In separate letters to the provincial secretaries of Sindh and Balochistan, the top election governing body sought the withdrawal of protocols and privileges accorded to the former Sindh ministers and cabinet members, and the reshuffling of the provincial secretaries in Balochistan.

The directives came in light of the completion of the provincial government’s tenure and impending general elections, which are set to take place at the start of next year following the delimitation process.

In a letter to the provincial secretary and inspector general, Election Commission Secretary Omar Hamid notified that the former officials and cabinet members are still enjoying the perks and privileges accorded to them by virtue of their former offices.

“You are, hereby, advised to withdraw protocol/security and perks and privileges from those former provincial cabinet members and political appointees of equivalent status and send a note of compliance within three days. This matter may be treated as most urgent,” the letter stated.

As per the letter, the ECP’s guidelines issued on August 15, following the dissolution of national and provincial assemblies, obligate the vacation of all the government residential facilities from all former federal and provincial ministers — including ex-prime minister, chief ministers, and their advisors.

Moreover, in a separate letter to the Balochistan chief secretary, the country’s top electoral body directed immediate replacement of the existing officials with new officials on the posts.

The ECP ordered the reshuffle of the following Balochistan officials:

  • Additional chief secretary (Development)
  • Services & General Administration Department secretary
  • Home secretary
  • Finance secretary

“As you are aware the Election Commission of Pakistan is charged with the Constitutional duty to organise and conduct clections in terms of Article 218 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law and that corrupt practices are guarded against,” the letter stated.

The electoral body sought a compliance report within three days.

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