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The Senate's Standing Committee on Interior has sought explanations from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), provincial secretaries and inspector generals of police over the recovery of stamped ballot papers following the general election last month.

A letter, dated August 6, has been sent to the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Law and Justice, the ECP, and all provincial and capital city home secretaries and inspector generals, seeking their response on media reports detailing the recovery of ballot papers from garbage dumps and a school, which was a designated polling station during the polls.

The letter — a copy of which is available with Dawn — was dispatched on the orders of Rehman Malik, the chairman of the said standing committee.

The letter observes that it was a matter of grave "national concern that the official documents/ ballot papers which were meant to be in the safe custody, possession of the staff of the ECP/ concerned government departments" were found at public places.

Take a look: ECP vows to take 'strict action' against stamped ballot papers found in Karachi

"All IGPs and home secretaries are directed to submit a comprehensive and consolidated report on the recovery of stamped ballot papers in their respective jurisdictions and report on the above lines if they were stolen or if it was an effort to make the General Elections, 2018 disputed," the document adds.

Malik directed the home secretaries to collect the requisite information and submit it to the committee by August 20. The committee also asked the law ministry to examine the matter and propose an additional course of action against those who failed to protect the official documents and property.

The committee has convened a meeting for August 27 to further discuss the matter.