Election Commission of Pakistan.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) approved on Thursday electoral reforms ahead of the upcoming general elections, empowering itself in a manner similar to their Indian counterparts, DawnNews reported.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the commission held here on Thursday, a DawnNews report said.

According to the approved reforms, the entire government machinery would come under the authority of the Election Commission once the election schedule is announced.

Another clause in the reforms also empowers the commission with administrative authority with the announcement of the election schedule.

Moreover, the commission would be allowed to make transfers and postings of high ranking officials including IGs, secretaries and chief secretaries.

Sources said the motive behind these reforms is to ensure transparency of the upcoming general elections, which the Chief Election Commissioner had termed crucial.

It is pertinent to mention that the election commission in neighbouring India gets  all administrative powers with the announcement of election schedule, a power that the Pakistani election commission never had before.

'Balance' sybmol

In the same meeting, the ECP had finally resolved between two political parties when it allocated an election symbol of 'balance' (tarazoo) to Jamaat-i-Islami (JI).

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf and the JI were seeking "balance "  as their election symbol. The ECP  had formed a three member bench to address the matter.

The ECP sources said that former cricketer turned politician Imran Khan could be assigned a cricket bat or ball as an election symbol.

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