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ISLAMABAD: Terming key appointments made by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government at the tail end of its five-year term as pre-poll rigging, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to keep an eye out on all possible factors that may affect the credibility of the upcoming polls.

In a letter the secretary information of the PTI, Fawad Chaudhry asked retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza — the chief election commissioner (CEC) — to intervene and scrutinise the appointments.

He said a letter had been written to the CEC on May 29 highlighting the issue of the appointment of the Advocate General Punjab and many other law officers, and it expressed dismay over the ECP’s inaction.

Mr Chaudhry said that taking advantage of the inaction on part of the ECP the former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and ex-Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif had made numerous key appointments.

In a separate letter written to the secretary establishment, details of the appointments made by the former prime minister during the last two weeks of his term were sought. Mr Chaudhry also asked the secretary establishment to provide a comprehensive list of appointments made in grade 21 and 22 by the federal government.

In a related development, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) has requested the CEC to replace heads of the Benazir Income Support Program, Bait-ul-Maal and Zakat and Ushr so that the elections are free, fair and impartial.

The demand was made by the member Central Executive Committee PPP Amir Fida Paracha in a letter addressed to the CEC. The three institutions are directly concerned with the people and their heads must be replaced to ensure free, fair and transparent elections, the letter said.

The letter reads “The purpose of the Care Taker Government is to neutralise the effect of the previous Governments which are hence forth contesting the forthcoming elections.” The letter says that the ECP must ensure free, fair and transparent elections. The ECP has acted well in issuing directions that have banned transfers, postings and new development projects.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2018