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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday imposed a ban on recruitment of public servants in federal, provincial and local government institutions.

In an order sent to the federal and provincial governments, the ECP stated that the ban would not affect recruitment through public service commissions. The move aims at discouraging any pre-poll rigging by using government jobs as incentive.

The ECP has also halted implementation of all developmental schemes approved after April 1 while also halting the transfer of funds from one scheme to another.

Meanwhile, the ECP spokesperson informed media that all high courts have provided a list of judicial officers who will serve as returning officers (RO), deputy ROs and assistant ROs in the upcoming general elections.

The ECP has stepped up its preparations for the 2018 general elections with less than two months remaining in the tenure of the incumbent government.

Questions have already been raised over the commission's delimitation exercise following the recently held census, despite ECP warning against any controversy over it.

Meanwhile, the opposition and the government are in talks over the appointment of a caretaker setup.

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