ECP unable to ascertain if contestants have ties to terrorism


ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) lacks a proper mechanism to determine if candidates contesting in the upcoming general elections are included in the Fourth Schedule list (involvement/suspicion for involvement in terrorism), a local media outlet reported on Sunday.

The National Counterterrorism Authority (NACTA) which holds the relevant data and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which analyses the candidates, has not yet been approached by the ECP.

NACTA chief Ihsan Ghani accused provincial home departments, arguing that they held the updated data while an ECP official blamed the FIA, saying that the agency should know if someone is placed on the list.

A meeting between ECP and NACTA official was agreed to but the subject of the discussion was to determine security threats against particular candidates.

However, an FIA official said that the agency had not yet been requested by the ECP to provide information on candidates placed on the Fourth Schedule list.

A list from May, 2018 shows that a total of 7,779 people and 4,808 bank accounts were mentioned in the list.

Many of the candidates during the 2013 general elections were placed on the list but contested successfully, with many of them winning.