SAHIWAL: The Regional Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Multan, on Saturday termed the recent posting of Javed Akhter Mahmood as Sahiwal commissioner, a “violation of the code of conduct” for by-election, asking the Punjab chief secretary to cancel the transfer orders issued on Sept 20.
Mr Mahmood, who was working as secretary of the Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Department, South Punjab, was appointed as Sahiwal commissioner, under notification No SI.2-2/2022 (A), issued on September 20 by Punjab chief secretary (CS).
Accordingly, Mahmood assumed the charge as Sahiwal commissioner, replacing Ms Salwat Saeed.
However, the Multan ECP, termed the transfer a violation of the code of conduct because by-election was scheduled in National Assembly constituency NA-157, Multan-IV.
Terms it violation of by-poll code of conduct
Taking notice of the transfer, the Multan region ECP wrote a letter (a copy available with Dawn) to the Punjab chief secretary’s office, saying: “No Government or authority shall post or transfer any officer in the district where the schedule for by-election has been issued on July 28, 2022, till the publication of the name of the returned candidate”.
Sources say it is the second case where Multan ECP has asked Punjab CS office to cancel the posting/transfer of a senior officer for being made in violation of by-election rules.
They say that earlier the ECP had objected to the posting of a BPS-19 officer, Amjad Shoaib Khan, as additional director general of the Multan Development Authority, made on Aug 22, 2022.
On Aug 23, the ECP had categorically wrote to the Punjab CS office to cancel Mr Shoaib’s posting, but to no avail. Later, the ECP sent a reminder to the CS, saying he failed to implement its directions regarding the withdrawal of the posting of Amjad Shoaib Khan, made “in violation of directives of ECP” under notification No 1(1)/2022-DMO-NA 157 (by-election), dated Sept 21, 2022.
District Monitoring Officer Abid Hussain confirmed to Dawn that his office so far did not receive any cancellation orders from Punjab CS despite the ECP terming the both postings a “violation of code of conduct” under Article 218 (3) of the Constitution.
Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2022