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'ECP has become headquarters for Opposition parties': CEC to issue notices to Fawad, Swati

Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan Tuesday decided to issue notices to federal minister for information and broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussian and Railways minister Azam Swati for leveling allegations against the commission of being biased and toeing the lines of the Opposition.

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'ECP has become headquarters for Opposition parties': CEC to issue notices to Fawad, Swati
'ECP has become headquarters for Opposition parties': CEC to issue notices to Fawad, Swati

Chairing the meeting, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja rejected the allegations of the ministers and decided proofs would be demanded from the ministers.

The commisison also sought record of footages from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

The CEC directed his staff to compile the entire record incuding proceedings of Aiwan-e-Sadar, Senate committee and media breifing before final presentation.    

In a press release the institution said it "objected to and rejected" the accusations against itself and the CEC.

The press release said evidence would be demanded from Swati for the comments he made about the ECP in the standing committee meeting.

Regarding the comments in the press conference, it said "the election commission has decided to issue notices to both ministers so further proceedings can be brought into effect regarding this matter."

It added that the ECP has also sought the record from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority as well as all material regarding the standing committee incident and the press conference to be presented before it.

At a press conference a couple of days ago, both the ministers who were flanked by minister Babar Awan, had alleged that ECP had become the headquarters for Opposition parties and the chief election commissioner is acting as their mouthpiece. 

"No one is satisfied with the ECP because it comes up with strange logic," they claimed.

The ministers said the PTI government had asked the Opposition to come forward and participate in discussions related to electoral reforms.

He said the PTI-led government had promised to make the ECP free, fair, and transparent, and to that end, a commission for reforms headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk was also formed. However, the ECP remains surrounded by controversies due to its "strange logic."

The minister said the CEC ECP was in close contact with former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, adding the party leaders were trying to get legal amendments passed so that the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) could be declared controversial.

"The government wanted to incorporate technology in the electoral process to ensure transparency, however, it seems like the ECP has become the headquarters for Opposition parties."

"All institutions of the country, including the ECP, must abide by the law," Fawad said. 

He termed opposition leaders ‘mental dwarfs’ lacking ability to think beyond their personal interests, saying the opposition leaders were adroit in prolonging cases by seeking frequent adjournments in their corruption cases.

They were insular persons and one could not any good from them, he added. Flanked by Minister for Railways Muhammad Azam Khan Swati and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Zaheer-ud-Din Babar Awan, Fawad said the opposition should know that strengthening parliament would eventually strengthen the people of Pakistan.

He said the opposition especially former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and his cohorts were trying to make constitutional amendments relating to the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the next general election controversial. The minister said the opposition used to clamoring about rigged polls after losing every election and obviously, it seemed that no party was satisfied with the electoral system.

However, the party which stressed over giving ‘respect to vote’ did not cooperate with the government on electoral reforms and always came up with a deal whenever asked for the initiative, he added. Referring to the internal rifts within the multiparty opposition alliance—Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), he mocked the opposition for washing its dirty linen in public.

He said Maulana Fazlur Rehman was criticizing the Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman, while Bilawal Zardari reciprocating by criticizing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Fawad said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government came into the power and started to fulfill his one of the most important promise of introducing election reforms in the country.

The government proposed the reforms after studying election systems of various countries and came to a conclusion that introduction of technology was panacea to end all the controversies regarding election for once and all, he added.

He said the right to formulate laws was exclusively rested with the Parliament and it was not the prerogative of ECP. No country could ever allow violation of the sanctity of its parliament because the voice of public in fact emanated from this forum, he added.

Fawad said the government had no objection if the CEC had any personal sympathy with Nawaz Sharif as obviously he had remained in close contact with the former prime minister in past, but, he added, let it be clear that whether it was the ECC or any institution, it would have to follow the acts passed by Parliament.

Nobody would be allowed to undermine the Parliament’s supremacy, he said, adding that if ECP had any objection on use of technology and any improvement in system they should share with the government.

Faisal Ali Ghumman is a senior editor at GNN, known for writing top quality content which garner very high readerships and has been covering every field of journalism, including politics, media, sports and scholarly articles. Faisal Ali Ghumman is nothing less than a Veteran Editor and has been writing for GNN for the past 3 months.

Pakistan

‘Covid fourth wave’: Pakistan's coronavirus positivity rate falls to 5.45%

Islamabad: Pakistan is witnessing daily surge in COVID-19 cases with authorities linking the upswing to the deadly fourth wave. Today country’s positivity rate is on 5.45%.

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‘Covid fourth wave’: Pakistan's coronavirus positivity rate falls to 5.45%

As per National Command and Control Center (NCOC), Pakistan conducted a total of 57,792 tests in the last 24 hours.

Around 3,153 cases of coronavirus were reported while 58 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,720.

As per the command centre, total confirmed cases are 1,204,520 whereas 5,370 are under critical care.

Punjab              

The number of patients swelled to 413,182 in the province with 12,211 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 444,464 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,133.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 168,258 in the province with 5,250 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,569 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,268 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 718. On the other hand, there are 10,162 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 102,617 cases in the capital city while 887 people have lost their lives.

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Pakistan

Pakistan sees surge in COVID cases, active tally reaches 1,194,198

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

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Pakistan sees surge in COVID cases, active tally reaches 1,194,198

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 4,062 cases of coronavirus were reported while 84 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,497.

The total number of cases has reached 1,194,198.

As many as 1,076,112 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,383 critical cases.

Punjab                 

The number of patients swelled to 408,758 in the province with 12,135 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 441,410 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,073.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 166,564 in the province with 5,175 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,480 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,037 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 714. On the other hand, there are 10,109 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 101,840 cases in the capital city while 879 people have lost their lives.

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Pakistan

Pakistan's COVID-19 positivity rate drops to 4.22%

Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

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Pakistan's COVID-19 positivity rate drops to 4.22%

Islamabad: Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio decreased to 4.22% from more than 11% a couple of weeks ago.

Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 2,167 cases of coronavirus were reported while 40 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 27,246. The daily Covid-19 positivity rate in Pakistan is at 4.22%.

The total number of cases has reached 1,226,008.

As many as 1,135,038 patients have recovered from the disease with 4,840 critical cases.

Punjab             

The number of patients swelled to 422,790 in the province with 12,407 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 450,787 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,270.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 171,388 in the province with 5,412 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,769 confirmed cases while 344 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,787 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 729. On the other hand, there are 10,245 cases in GB with 182 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 104,242 cases in the capital city while 902 people have lost their lives

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