Election Commission asks Punjab for details of ‘illegal’transfers
By Khawaja Naseer
LAHORE: The Election Commission of Pakistan has sent a reminder to the Punjab government asking for details of the transfers of administrative officers it made after the announcement of the local election schedule in violation of an earlier notification.
The Election Commission had notified that the transfers of administrative officers must be put on hold after June 29, the date the schedule was announced, in the 17 districts where the first phase of the local polls starts on July 18. The measure was meant to ensure the Punjab government was unable to transfer officers to districts to influence the polls.
A senior officer of the Punjab election commission office confirmed that the reminder from the Election Commission had been received and forwarded to the chief secretary and the services and general administration secretary.
Meanwhile, candidates for union council nazim and naib nazim seats have been complaining to the provincial election office that it is not clear in certain cases what tehsils their union councils fall in.
Riaz Ahmed Dillhon, a candidate for nazim Union Council 15 in Sheikhupura district, said the creation of Nankana Sahib district out of Sheikhupura district had created confusion. He said his union council was half in Ferozewala tehsil and half in Mureedke tehsil. He said UC-11, UC-18 and UC-45 were in a similarly grey area.
The provincial election commission official said many candidates had visited the commission over the last few days asking for notifications clarifying what tehsils these union councils were in, but that this was the function of the Local Government Department.
Asked to comment, an official of the Local Government Department said, “The formulation of new districts, new city district governments and division of their tehsils were made on the directions of the provincial Board of Revenue, according to the jurisdiction of their patwarkhans (revenue offices).
“If some union council falls in two tehsils, the candidates from those constituencies should contact their district coordination officer to remove the confusion,” he said.
However, the provincial election commissioner also told Daily Times that this problem was concerned with the Local Government Department. A senior official of the Home Department said a security plan for the 17 districts in first phase of the local polls beginning on July 17 would be finalised in a couple of days.