If only the Election Commission of Pakistan had will and spine to exercise its powers, nobody including Caretakers or paid bureaucracy(civil and uniformed) would dare to create doubts about their mandatory requirement to be seen and performing their role strictly in accordance with laws, with no bias or favor for any of contesting political parties and contestants. Unfortunately the manner in which Zulfi Bokhari whose name was put on either Blacklist or ECL was allowed to depart on a chartered private aircraft accompanying PTI head Imran Khan for performing Umrah, after being initially stopped by immigration, raises lot of questions. Similarly the choice of individuals in Federal and Punjab cabinet, who have been vocally expressing their support for a particular political party in the past, will make whole exercise of carrying free and fair elections questionable. Few of them are even related or very closely linked to prominent politicians. 

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It would serve democracy and enforce supremacy of constitution, if these few individuals resign themselves or are forced to quit. The ECP must screen all contestants for mis-declaration and any criminal record, tax evasion etc to justify their existence and save this country from scourge of corruption, which has driven Pakistan to brink of financial bankruptcy. 

GULL ZAMAN,  

Peshawar, June 14.