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Shah urges ECP to lift ban on recruitment of public servants

ISLAMABAD: Opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Wednesday demanded of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appoint senior officers as provincial election commissioners and end restrictions on appointments of public servants. 

Speaking to the media, the PPP leader said non-appointment of senior officials on key posts in provincial election commission will result in doubts and suspicions. He demanded that senior officers be appointed on the posts immediately.

Someone had misguided the election commissioner on recruitment of public servants ahead of the general elections, Khursheed Shah said.

In the past, there used to be no restrictions on such recruitment or the release of funds for development schemes, the PPP leader said.

After the 18th amendment, Shah said, the electoral body has become more autonomous. Even then, he added, if it fails to hold free and fair elections, then Allah Almighty will save this country.

The Punjab government has approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) challenging the ban imposed on fresh recruitment in all government departments of the country.

The Punjab chief secretary through a lawyer filed the constitutional petition, challenging the restrictions on recruitment of public servants.

In the petition, the top provincial bureaucrat argued that the electoral body can not restrain the executive authorities from performing their duties in the line with the country’s Constitution.

The restrictions have adversely impacted the working of the government departments in Punjab, he added.

The petitioner contended that it is imperative to have a required workforce for the smooth discharge of administrative duties.

He, therefore, pleaded with the court to set aside the ECP’s notification with regard to the ban.

On April 11, the electoral body banned fresh government jobs with effect from April 01. All federal and provincial authorities were issued directives to strictly comply with the restrictions, according to a statement issued by the ECP.

It added that the ban is aimed to ensure transparency in the general elections scheduled around August this year and discourage pre-polling rigging by offering incentives such as jobs.

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