LAHORE: The PML-N has chided the Punjab government for appointing an “incompetent” official as commissioner of Rawalpindi division in violation of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP’s) order, “resulting in incidents like Murree tragedy”.

Commenting on the tragic deaths of more than 20 snow-bound tourists in Murree, PML-N deputy secretary-general Attaullah Tarar tweeted on Saturday: “ECP recommended punishment for Gulzar Shah, ex commissioner Gujranwala, because of the Daska Fiasco. Instead of taking action against him he was posted as commissioner Rawalpindi as a reward. This is what happens (Murree tragedy) when you violate merit. Imran-Buzdar duo should be ashamed.”

The inquiry report compiled by the Punjab Joint Election Commissioner had exposed those responsible for the “disappearance” of 20 presiding officers during the February, 2021 by-election at Daska and found that election officials and government functionaries acted as “puppets in the hands of their unlawful masters”.

The report not only indicated that the officers concerned did not play their designated roles in the requisite manner, but also identified Sialkot Colleges Deputy Director Mohammad Iqbal Kaloya for attending meetings at Daska assistant commissioner’s house, aimed at “manipulating” the election process.

The report had also pointed out police officers and officials’ shady role in the by-election and their failure in protecting the polling staff and material.

The PML-N demanded ‘legal action’ against Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in the light of the inquiry report, alleging the PTI government indulged in stealing votes.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2022

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