ECP asks caretaker govts to remove political appointees.

ISLAMABAD -- The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has directed the caretaker governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to ensure immediate termination of services of all heads of institutions appointed on political grounds and to send their lists to the commission forthwith.

In a set of guidelines issued for the caretakers in the two provinces, the ECP has also sought vacation of the government residential facilities from former chief ministers and their advisers, provincial ministers and members of provincial assemblies of Punjab and KP, besides ensuring withdrawal of official vehicles from them.

'Furthermore, the dignitaries shall be provided security/protocol as per their entitlement and any extra deployment of security/protocol be withdrawn from them forthwith,' the guidelines read.

The caretaker governments have also been asked to assist the ECP in holding elections in accordance with the law.

The commission referred to section 230(1)(b) of the Elections Act, 2017, which defines functions of the caretaker governments.

Issues set of guidelines for caretakers in Punjab and KP

The commission asked the caretakers to ensure compliance of all notifications, directives and provisions as laid down in Section 230 of the Act, and not to post or transfer any public official after the issuance of this notification without prior approval in writing of the ECP.

It further said that that all kinds of recruitments in any ministry, division, department or institution under the provincial governments and local governments of Punjab and KP were banned with immediate effect, except recruitments by the Provincial Public Service Commissions and those government organisations where test and interviews had already been conducted.

The caretaker governments have also been barred from announcing or executing any kind of development schemes in Punjab and KP, except those which have been ongoing and approved before the issuance of this notification.

'Moreover, the provincial governments and local governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shall not issue tenders of such schemes till culmination of general elections of both assemblies,' it said.

The commission also said that development funds relating to local government institutions of Punjab and KP and cantonment boards falling in the jurisdiction of the two provinces shall stand frozen with immediate effect till the announcement of the results of the general elections.

The guidelines said that the...

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