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Positive news but...

Individual-land has been consistently highlighting violations of the ECP issued code of conduct in various provinces of Pakistan and urging the ECP to take note of the violations. Different members of the civil society including the political parties have been urging the Election Commission of Pakistan to take note of these violations but apparently the ECP have not. Given this background, then, it is very encouraging to note that the ECP has taken some positive steps namely the booking of twenty two candidates for Nazims and Naib Nazims of five Union Councils of Hafizabad who were violating different clauses of the code. In Gujarat, a case was registered against a candidate for Mandiala Union Council Nazim seat after he was found using a loudspeaker at a meeting in violation of the Code of Conduct.

In Toba Tek Singh, 22 supporters of a candidate were booked for raising provocative slogans against the opponent again in violation of the code of conduct. In Sargodha, the District Returning Officer has summoned the minister Mian Manazir Ali Ranjha and MNA Ghaus Ahmad Mila on Aug 16th to answer to charges of using official resources to campaign for local bodies' candidates. Individual-land field contacts have verified that these individuals drew their strength from different parties including the PML ruling out, at least, in the cases reported above, political victimization of the oppositions candidates.

Such notice of gross violations of the code of conduct is very encouraging and individual-land field observers were pleased to report these instances. However, individual-land would like to point out that while such instances are a good beginning, the ECP also has to take note of instances where Provincial Chief Minister and Federal Ministers are violating the code of conduct.Individual-land would also like to point out that the candidate in Gujrat is not the only one suing a loud speaker nor are the TobaTek Singh supports the only one who are raising provocative slogans against the opponents. A person no less than Mr. Altaf Hussain and the President of Pakistan have done so ,as has been reported by individual-land in previous e-inputs.

Thus,while it is good to book 22 supporters in Toba Tek Singh, the ECP should also take note of the announcement at Rahimyar Khan by the Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi of Mr. Bashir Cheema as `` PML backed candidate for District Nazim Bahlewalpur for a second term." The Honorable Chief Minister also announced to retain Mr.Ali Akbar Wains as District Nazim Bahwalanagar.These announcements were made on the occasion of the Chief Minister's visit to Rahimyar Khan and were openly reported in the media. The Honorable Chief Minister is also receiving delegations of local bodies' seat hopefuls at the Chief Minister's House at Lahore. One such visitor was of Mr. Abd-ul-Rehman Kanju ,Ex District Nazim Lodhran and now again contesting for the District Nazim seat. The CM received him warmly and said that `` Former District Nazim Abd-ul-Rehman Kanju has full support of Pakistan Muslim League as candidate for the seat of District Nazim in local bodies elections." The CM further said that ``Mr. Kanju was fully capable of leading District Lodhran and under his leadership the program of public welfare would be effectively implemented. "This was reported as part of a press release titled, ``PML-N leader joins ruling league" printed in The Nation, Lahore Edition on Sat, Aug 13th 2005.

Meanwhile an All Parties Conference was organized by mainly opposition parties on Aug 11th 2005 which highlighted the violations of the code of conduct by the treasury. Before commenting on the government's reaction to the APC, individual-land would like to confess that the inclusion of political alliances in the APC who are themselves violating the code of conduct is confounding at the very least. Having said this, we would like to revert to the government 's defense to the APC's declaration.

Defending the allegations of code violation, the Federal Minister of Interior Mr. Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao in a statement printed on Aug 14th in THE NEWS declared that parties should not be concerned about the code violations as the local bodies elections are non party. Perhaps the Federal Minister needs to apprise the Provincial Chief Minister of Punjab of this clause.



individualland.com (Last Updated Wednesday, 26 October 2016)

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