ECP, govt lock horns over Punjab IGP’s transfer


ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has refused to withdraw the notification of suspension Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tahir Khan’s transfer, stating that the notification was lawful.

The ECP said this in a statement issued on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the government had urged the election commission to withdraw the notification pertaining to the suspension.

The ECP had suspended the government’s decision to replace Tahir Khan with Amjad Javed Saleemi as the Punjab police chief on Tuesday, stating that the transfer violated the commission’s directives of September 3, that banned postings and transfers of government officials in the wake of the by-elections. It had also sought an explanation from the government.

The government, however, differed in its Wednesday reply, with the Establishment Division stating that “ECP’s order is not a hindrance in the transfers and postings of police chiefs”.

In a letter to the election watchdog, the Division said, “The ECP had advised against transfers and postings in districts where by-polls are scheduled to be held, however, the Punjab IGP’s transfer was made in accordance with the law after consultation.”

Moreover, the Commission on Thursday formed monitoring teams for the by-polls to be held in 35 constituencies on October 14.

According to reports, 27 teams will monitor the by-elections. Their responsibilities include overlooking the distribution of polling equipment and training of the polling staff.

On the day of the by-polls, the teams will also review security arrangements.

They are also expected to monitor the result transmission system (RTS) and votes coming from overseas Pakistanis, as well as tabulation and compilation of results.