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Thursday, February 22, 2024  
11 Shaban 1445  

ECP report shows Daska by-election rigged; Firdous Ashiq also involved

Election Commission of Pakistan's committee submitted report on NA-75 Sialkot-IV by-election which was held on February 19
It further put blame on former special assistant to Punjab chief minister Firdous Ashiq Awan who attended a meeting at Daska assistant commissioner's home for rigging in the by-poll. File photo
It further put blame on former special assistant to Punjab chief minister Firdous Ashiq Awan who attended a meeting at Daska assistant commissioner's home for rigging in the by-poll. File photo

An Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) inquiry committee on Friday held responsible district returning officer (DRO) and returning officer (RO) for rigging in Daska by-election, reported Aaj News.

The ECP panel submitted the report on NA-75 Sialkot-IV by-election which was held on February 19 and noted the incompetence of DRO and RO subotaged the by-election.

It further put blame on former special assistant to Punjab chief minister Firdous Ashiq Awan who attended a meeting at Daska assistant commissioner's home which was supposedly about rigging in the by-poll. The meeting was also attended by Punjab chief minister Deputy Secretary Ali Abbas, deputy director of Education department Muhammad Iqbal and others.

The report gave suggestions to keep "the incompetent" DRO and RO away from administrative posts and election duties and stated the Returning Officers didn't take decisions on time.

According to the report, the police and administration was well aware about the incidents happened on the polling day. However, they didn't take concrete steps, failed to fulfil their responsibilities, influenced the by-election and violated code of conduct of the ECP.

It added the police officers were involved in transporting 20 presiding officers to some other place instead of RO office.

The officials of education department who were on duty on election day were also involved in the events led to the rigging of the by polls, read the report. The ECP report suggested legal action against chief education officer Maqbool Ahmed Shakir who failed to fulfil his responsibility and expressed bias and incompetence.

The report recommended military and strict departmental action against Deputy District Education Officer Farkhunda Yasmeen who arranged an illegal meeting at her home.

The ECP inquiry committee suggessted action against all people involved in the events led to rigging of by-election and military action against those police officers nominated by the presiding officer.

It further suggested departmental action against police officials posted at 20 controversial polling stations and said the presiding officers used private cars for travelling to reach RO office instead of official vehicles. They were also talking to different people on call during the duty.

Some people didn't cooperate with the committee during the inquiry, according to the report. The presiding officers were also telling lies during the inquiry but they admitted that they had gone to some other place after the reference of CDR report.

In the report, it was maintained the presiding officers were not missing by chance but it happened with pre-planning. They were taken to Pasrur and then Sialkot.

According to the report, the presiding officers were permitted to cast votes on photo copies of the National Identity Cards, while the officials were asked not to intervene in the affairs of police and administration.

The missing presiding officers' role was labelled suspicious in the report and the officials of ECP were also held responsible for the events.

The panel also suggested amendments in Form 45 and 46 by including a box which should have receiving of the polling agent.

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