PESHAWAR: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary and inspector general of police to ‘forcibly’ expel federal minister for Kashmir affairs Ali Amin Gandapur from Dera Ismail Khan district, where polling for the city council’s mayor slot will be held on Feb 19.
A letter in this regard was issued by ECP deputy director (law) Saima Tariq Janjua to the chief secretary, IGP, DI Khan district returning officer, district monitoring officer and returning officers asking them to implement an ECP’s order issued on Feb 1 for the expulsion of minister Ali Amin Gandapur from the district over the repeated violation of the code of conduct announced by the commission for the local government elections in the province.
In the Feb 1 order, the ECP had declared: “We direct the Chief Secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Inspector General of Police, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to oust the respondent Ali Amin Gandapur forcibly from DI Khan district and till culmination of 2nd phase election process.
“The Chief Secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Inspector General of Police, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, District Returning Officer, Returning Officers and the District Monitoring Officers shall ensure that Mr. Ali Amin Gandapur does not enter the constituencies where elections for the second phase are going to be held including DI Khan district and in case of trespassing he be expelled immediately.”
Action taken over repeated violation of LG poll code
In the letter to the officers, the ECP had ordered strict compliance with that order.
The ECP, in a meeting on Jan 28, had taken notice of the repeated violation of code of conduct by minister Gandapur and summoned him for Feb 1 to explain his position.
The meeting was informed that the minister’s brother, Umar Amin Gandapur, was a candidate for Dera Ismail Khan Mayor’s slot for the upcoming local government polls scheduled for Feb 13.
On Dec 5, the minister violated the election code by participating in a campaign and announcing development schemes in the area, the meeting noted. Later, the ECP slapped a fine of Rs50,000 on Mr Ali for the violation.
On Dec 15, the minister again addressed a public rally in Dera Ismail Khan.
The ECP had observed that it had come to its notice that the minister was still violating the election code and that the commission had received a complaint in this regard.
After receiving the letter, the DI Khan district election commissioner and district monitoring officer has also directed the deputy commissioner and DRO, additional deputy commissioner and the DI Khan district police officer to implement the order and submit a compliance report.
MNA FINED: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MNA from DI Khan district Mohammad Yaqoob Sheikh was fined Rs10,000 by DI Khan district election commissioner (DEC) and district monitoring officer Hayatullah Jan for participating in electioneering in violation of the code of conduct.
The DEC, in his order, said during summary inquiry, the MNA was heard at length, but his arguments and written reply could not satisfied him.
The officer warned that if the MNA was again found guilty of violating the code of conduct or Elections Act, 2017, the matter should be referred to the ECP Islamabad for appropriate action.
Referring to the code of conduct, the officer said after issuance of election schedule, the president, prime minister, chief minister, governor, speaker and deputy speaker of any assembly, chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate, federal and provincial ministers, advisers to the prime minister or chief minister, or any other holder of public office should not visit the area of any local council to announce any development scheme or to canvass for any candidate or any political party.
Meanwhile, the DEC asked the DC and DRO and the DPO in DI Khan to refrain any MNA or MPA or any public office holder from participating in corner meetings and public meetings of the contesting candidates and directions issued by the ECP in this regard may be complied with in letter and spirit.
In a letter addressed to the two officers, the DEC said some MNAs, MPAs and other public office holders were frequently participating in corner meetings for election campaign of candidates of their parties contesting election for mayor seat of the DI Khan city council and were persistently violating the code of conduct.
Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2022