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A ban on transfers of officials in Sindh and Punjab

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ISLAMABAD:(APS) To ensure transparency in upcoming local body polls, a ban has been imposed on appointment and transfer of government officers in Punjab and Sindh.

Briefing the media after an ECP meeting to review the arrangements for LG polls, Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan Babar Yaqub informed media that the ban has been imposed to ensure organization of a fair and free election.

Answering a question, Yaqub also said that the commission has so far not received any written request for deployment of Rangers in the elections. He added that the paramilitary force would be deployed if the need arose.

Besides the ECP staff, chief secretaries of Punjab and Sindh along with some high-ranking police officials also attended the meeting which was called in the federal capital city.

Yaqoob said that the participants of the meeting discussed the issues related to security in detail while the CEC directs IGP Punjab and Sindh to ensure security of returning officers and deputy returning officers during the upcoming polls.

“IG Punjab ensures the ECP that the police will remain neutral during the polls while he also showed concerns regarding the terrorist activity in the upcoming polls in the province,” said Yaqoob.

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In his remarks, the Chief Election Commissioner assured that electoral code of conduct will be followed and implemented in letter and spirit during the polls

Local body elections in Punjab and Sindh will be held in two phases with the first phase scheduled for October 31 and the second to be held on November 19.

District Returning Officers (DROs), Returning Officers (ROs) and Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) have already been appointed by ECP for this purpose, and they have been asked to fulfill their duties in accordance with the provision of law and rules and maintain neutrality and impartiality.

According to the notification by the ECP, severe action will be taken against those returning officers who fail to fulfill their responsibilities.

The ECP has also issued the code of conduct for coverage of the elections by electronic media.

Since the polls are being held on party basis, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has been directed to monitor the coverage given to political parties and their candidates.

The code of conduct says that wild allegation and statements which may harm national solidarity or may create law and order situation should be strictly avoided.

The media has been directed to seek comments of both sides in case of allegations levelled by one candidate against another.

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