Shortly after the Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan Ishtiak Ahmed made a rather baffling announcement that the Provincial and National Assembly elections could not be held together the same day, Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ibrahim corrected him with a categorical statement that homework for carrying them out in one day has been done. This is a prompt reaction, indeed very characteristic of Justice Ibrahim who has been exuding indefatigable energy and promise to achieve the task assigned to him.

The secretary made the announcement without consulting the CEC or it could be that both the officials were not in touch with each other. As things stand, when one hears different rumours about elections some of them negative, officials of the CEC have to be careful; they ought to speak with one voice all the more so where announcing the schedule of the elections is concerned. Not only generally the public trusts the present team to carry out free and fair polls, the parties share that belief as well. The ECP is led by Justice Ibrahim, who is thought to be non-partisan and an administrator who could be very strict so far as his job is concerned. The primary challenge he faces is that the staff under his command should abide by discipline. Caution has to be exercised in seeing to it that the ECP is under effective control of the CEC. Under no circumstances, should the department let any fumble impinge its image.