All preparations completed, ECP rejects calls to postpone polls

Govt committed to hold elections on Feb 8: Solangi

Spokesman says printing of 250m ballot papers underway n Electoral symbols to 150 political parties allocated for general elections n All political parties bound to hold intra-party elections.

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE  -  The Election Commission of Paki­stan Monday dismissed the pro­posal to postpone the general elections, emphasising that estab­lished polling date of February 8 was mutually determined with the President of Pakistan. 

According to officials, in a let­ter addressed to the Joint Secre­tary Legislation of the Senate, the ECP conveyed that it would not be prudent to postpone the general elections at this stage. It said ad­ditionally, the resolution of the up­per house of Parliament cannot be currently implemented.

The letter stated that the Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan has already directed caretaker gov­ernment to ensure law and order during elections. This includes enhancing the security framework to create a favorable environment for peaceful and credible conduct of the 2024 general elections.

The letter further said that the ECP has made a commitment be­fore the Supreme Court to conduct general elections. Spokesperson Syed Nadeem Haider says the Election Commission of Paki­stan has completed all prepara­tions to hold polling for the na­tional and provincial assemblies on the eighth of next month.

He also urged the general public to exercise their right to vote on polling day. The spokes­person mentioned that election symbols had been allocated to the contesting candidates, and the ECP is set to start the print­ing of ballot papers.

Syed Nadeem Haider also stat­ed that Monitoring Cells have been set up at the provincial level as well as at the ECP Sec­retariat in Islamabad to ensure the implementation of the elec­tion Code of Conduct. 

The ECP tasked the Print­ing Corporation of Pakistan on Monday with producing 250 million watermarked ballot pa­pers for the February 8 polls. According to sources, the ECP sanctioned the printing of ballot papers for the upcoming gener­al elections during its meeting.

Distinctive watermarks will adorn the ballot papers, which are set to be printed using three different machines. Rigorous security protocols have been ensured for the Printing Corpo­ration premises during the bal­lot paper production.

The use of watermarked bal­lot papers was initiated in the country during the 2018 gen­eral elections, marking a sig­nificant milestone. Three print­ing machines will be utilised for this task, such as the Security Printing Corporation, the Paki­stan Postal Foundation, and the Printing Corporation of Paki­stan sharing the workload.

Security is tightened, consid­ering potential army deploy­ment inside and outside print­ing facilities. The decision focuses on ensuring the integ­rity and security of the elector­al process, with a detailed plan for secure transportation from printing machines to designat­ed officials.


The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) allotted elector­al symbols to around 150 polit­ical parties competing for seats in the upcoming general elec­tions for both the National and provincial assemblies.

According to the list up­loaded on ECP’s website, Pa­kistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) received the ‘tiger’ symbol, Pakistan Peoples Par­ty Parliamentarians (PPP) the ‘arrow,’ Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) the ‘sword,’ Pakistan Teh­reek-e-Insaf-Nazriati (PTI-N) the ‘batsman,’ Istehkam-e-Paki­stan Party (IPP) the ‘eagle,’ Mut­tahida Qaumi Movement-Paki­stan (MQM-P) the ‘kite,’ Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) the ‘book,’ Jamaat-e-Islami Paki­stan (JI) the ‘scale,’ Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Parliamentar­ians (PTI-P) the ‘turban,’ Ba­lochistan National Party (BNP) the ‘axe,’ Awami National Party (ANP) the ‘lantern,’ Balochistan National Party Awami the ‘cam­el,’ and Balochistan Awami Par­ty (BAP) the ‘cow.

The Upper House of parlia­ment last week had passed a res­olution adopting a stance that the general polls should be de­layed. Independent Senator Dil­awar Khan, the mover of the res­olution with thin presence of lawmakers, had argued that the Constitution upheld the right to vote for every citizen of Pakistan to vote in the polls. Khan said the Election Commission of Pakistan was bound to conduct free and fair polls contingent upon inclu­sivity and ensuring the partici­pation of all regional people. Ex­pressing concerns on the recent attempts on the lives of JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman and former lawmaker Mohsin Dawar asked for delay in the polls. The resolu­tion also drew attention towards the unsuitability of weather con­ditions for election campaigns in Balochistan and Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa, proposing postpone­ment of the February 8 elections in these regions. Reacting to this resolution, the Commission re­plied to a letter from the secre­tary of the Cabinet Division cit­ing a Senate resolution to delay polls for some time. The elector­al watchdog completely reject­ed the position mentioned in the resolution of the Senate and announced elections have been held in winter in the past too.

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