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Playing their part: Writers urge election commission take notice of political appointees

KARACHI: The chief election commissioner Justice (retired) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim assured a delegation of Sindhi writers, poets and intellectuals that he would take prompt action against all political appointees who are affecting the transparency of the electoral policy.

“Give me a list of such officers and I will transfer them because we want to hold free and fair election,” he assured the eight-member delegation at his Karachi office on Wednesday. The delegation included Jami Chandio, Professor Mushtaq Mirani, Dastagir Bhatti, Manzoor Solangi, Shaukat Hussain Shoro, Muzzafar Chandio and Aakash Ansari.

The writers complained how Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) activists, who secured government jobs, are involved in pre-poll rigging. Besides the appointment of kith and kin of politicians on important positions, they also questioned President Zardari’s direct involvement in the electoral process.

“We want to know under which law he is presiding over the Sindh cabinet meetings at the Bilawal House. After the 18th Amendment, he has no right to interfere in provincial government’s affairs.”

They also informed Justice (retd) Ebrahim that all important elections-related meetings are held at Governor House, where they claimed plans for rigging the elections are being devised and directives are being issued to carry them out.

After presenting a list of bureaucrats, the delegation told the chief election commissioner that election duties are usually delegated to the staff of the education department and since Fazlullah Pechuho, President Zardari’s brother-in-law, has been appointed as education secretary, there is little chance that elections will be fair.

“The secretary’s wife, Dr Azra Fazl Pechuho, and his sister-in-law, Faryal Talpur, are contesting elections from Larkana and Benazirabad,” they said. “Who will make sure that the secretary remains impartial?” they asked, requesting the commissioner to transfer the secretary.

Talking to the media after the meeting, the writers said they wanted a reshuffle in the bureaucracy in line with the decision taken by the Punjab government. They also gave details about the political appointees in the district administration and the police from Karachi to Kashmore. For instance, they cited the case of Tharparkar district commissioner, who belongs to the Makhdoom family of Hala.

The Makhdooms are contesting elections from Matiari and Tharparkar.

According to them, SSP Ghotki is the son of Ahmed Ali Patani, who is the PPP district president and a nominee for an MPA seat. On the other hand, SSP Naushero Feroz, Farooque Jamali, is a brother of Rafique Jamali, a former PPP MNA. The Jamali family is contesting this year as well. They said they would hold another meeting with Justice (retd) Ebrahim next week.

Source: The Express Tribune

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