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Election Commission of Pakistan for ensuring free, fair and transparent elections: Secretary

Islamabad, November 06, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), under the dynamic leadership of Mr. Justice (Retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, is making all necessary arrangements to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country, this was stated by Mr. Ishtiak Ahmad Khan, Secretary, ECP while talking to Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, UK Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who met him here at the ECP Secretariat, Islamabad. Additional Secretary Mr. Muhammad Afzal Khan and senior officers of the ECP were present in the meeting.

Mr. Ishtiak Ahmad Khan said that all the stake holders including political parties, civil societies, and media etc. are being consulted and kept on board about electoral reforms and decisions of the ECP.

The Secretary highlighted the preparation of error-free and credible Electoral Rolls-2012 published on 31st May 2012 and said that every citizen of Pakistan, who possesses CNIC, has been enrolled as voter in the Electoral Rolls.

The number of voters in the Electoral Rolls-2012 is now 84 million while one million citizens have been issued CNIC after 31st May 2012 and they are being enrolled after verification by the Registration officers of ECP.

The presiding officers will be provided copies of Electoral Rolls with photo and a column for thumb impression of voters with magnetized ink which will help eliminate chances of impersonation in the coming polls, he added.

Mr. Ishtiak Khan said that an exercise is in process for declaring government buildings as permanent polling stations and there will be no change of polling stations at the eleventh hour. The list of these polling stations will be published after consultation with stakeholders well before polling day and will also be placed at the website of the ECP, so that voters know, where to go vote on election day.

He said that in the previous meetings with political parties, the parties were unanimously of the view that they could only trust the ECP for ensuring credible elections and smooth transfer of power in the country. Various Code of Conducts have been prepared for political parties, contesting candidates, media, observers and security personnel and it will be implemented in letter and spirit.

Besides, a comprehensive voter education programme has been devised to increase the turn out and in this regard, Voters’ day was observed on 17th October 2012 for the first time in the history of Pakistan and this day will be observed every year in future as well. Now, marinating Law and Order situation during polls is the main focus of the ECP and in this regard, a meeting of the Federal and Provincial Government will be convened in the coming two weeks to ensure required tranquility and peace during elections.

For the first time, ballot papers will be prepared bearing special security features and on specially manufactured non-market paper to prevent copy of the ballot papers by any quarter.

Sayeeda Warsi discussed the upcoming elections and the two countries mutual interests in promoting democratic norms and stability in the country. She said that the upcoming elections are a crucial milestone in Pakistan’s democratic history. She said that a strong, stable, constitutional democracy and a legitimate transfer of power in the upcoming elections are firmly in Pakistan’s interests.

Baroness Warsi acknowledged and appreciated the endeavors of the ECP for ensuring credible, honest and transparent elections.

On the occasion the Secretary, ECP congratulated on her new appointment as senior Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister for Faith and Communities and Local Government and hoped that the relations between the two oldest friends would foster further with the passage of time. He appreciated the goodwill gesture of UK government and hospitality/treatment of Malala Yousafzai.

Sayeeda Warsi was also shown the procedure of CNIC issuance free of cost by NADRA to every Pakistani attaining the age of 18. She was told that almost 1000 mobile vans besides hundreds of officers were doing registration of citizens in Pakistan.

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

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