ISLAMABAD: A month has passed since the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued a directive to the federal government and the interior ministry, urging them to repatriate board members appointed on deputation within the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
As per the details, the directive aims to ensure transparent elections, but its implementation appears to be at a standstill.
In early September, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja called upon the CDA to transfer at least five deputation-appointed board members.
While the estate member was promptly returned to their parent department by the federal government, the process of repatriating the other board members has been sluggish.
An official from the CDA has raised concerns about the efficiency of the election watchdog, stating, “This raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the ECP.”
They have also questioned why the commission has been unable to enforce its order, adding that the bureaucracy must implement ECP directives ahead of the general elections, as failing to do so challenges the ECP’s authority.
The official stressed that the ECP’s directives should be implemented comprehensively, with all members returned to their respective parent departments, and there should be no selective enforcement.
Another CDA official suggested that some board members might be leveraging their connections to remain within the civic agency.
However, other CDA officials have dismissed these allegations, asserting that the individual in question has no involvement in CDA affairs.
A senior ECP official stated that non-compliance with ECP orders is unacceptable, and the commission could initiate legal proceedings against those responsible for the delay in implementing its directives.
The ECP had issued orders for the removal of the CDA’s board members on September 5 in response to an inquiry report by the CDA and media reports highlighting a land scam at the CDA’s Land Directorate.
Moreover, the ECP underscored the CDA’s crucial role in conducting free and fair elections and recommended the transfer of deputation officers to the Establishment Division.
The ECP also suggested that officers in senior positions within the CDA cadre should be shuffled, with individuals of good repute and neutral stance appointed to ensure the fair conduct of elections.
Despite the ECP’s letter, sources have indicated that the federal government only returned the estate member to their parent department, while the four other deputation members continue to hold their positions, making long-term policy decisions.
In a follow-up show-cause notice sent to the CDA chairman, the ECP sought an explanation for the non-compliance with its order.
An ECP official mentioned that a reminder was sent to the CDA chairman on September 12, urging immediate action and discussions with the interior secretary, as the transfer of members falls within the purview of the federal government rather than the chairman.