ISLAMABAD, March 28: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has extended the last date for submission of nomination papers by two days, to March 31.
According to a notification issued here on Thursday, the ECP has revised various parts of the election schedule on the demand of political parties from Balochistan.
The polling date of May 11, however, remains unchanged.
Earlier in the day, Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim visited Quetta and discussed matters relating to the elections with Baloch leaders.
ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan said the decision had been taken because of several reasons, including heavy rains in Balochistan and difficulties faced by candidates in opening bank accounts.
He said it had now been decided to allow candidates to use their existing accounts after withdrawing the entire money and depositing the amount meant for election expenses.
He said candidates who would open an account should get a receipt from the bank and it would be accepted by the returning officer.
According to the revised schedule, the scrutiny of nomination papers, earlier scheduled to be held from March 30 to April 5, will now take place between April 1 and 7.
The last date for filing appeals against rejection or acceptance of nomination papers by returning officers will be April 10, instead of April 9.
April 17 has been set as the last date for deciding the appeals by tribunals. Previously it was April 16.
The last date for withdrawal of candidature will be April 18, instead of April 17. The revised list of candidates will be published on April 19, instead of April 18.
The new schedule will also apply to seats reserved for women and non-Muslims.
The offices of the ECP and district returning officers and returning officers will remain open on Saturdays and Sundays.
BAN ON JOBS LIFTED: According to another notification, the ECP has lifted a ban on recruitments with immediate effect.
The ban on diversion of funds will continue to the extent that no new schemes will be announced. Work on schemes already approved will be allowed to continue.
The commission clarified that the ban did not apply on re-appropriation of non-development funds and re-appropriation of funds for salaries to employees of the projects.
CHIEF SECRETARIES TRANSFERRED: In a significant development, the ECP transferred Punjab Chief Secretary Nasir Mehmood Khan Khosa to take charge as chief secretary of Sindh. He will replace Raja Mohammad Abbas who will report to the Establishment Division.
Federal education secretary retired Major Qamar-uz-Zaman will take over as chief secretary of Punjab.
The ECP has directed the Establishment Division to implement the decision forthwith in letter and spirit and furnish a confirmation report within three days.