Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi declared on Tuesday that his party was strongly opposed to giving Nadra in the charge of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for three months as it was an unlawful and unconstitutional act of the government.

In a statement issued here, he added that the limits and functions of ECP had clearly been defined in the constitution and assigning duties beyond these limits were illegal. He suggested to the ECP to refuse to obey this ‘illegal’ executive order of the government. “The ECP is an autonomous institution and the government should respect its autonomy,” he demanded. He said that only ECP could ensure transparent elections in the country and the transparent polls were a guarantee to the establishment of a strong democracy in the country.

He declared that the PTI would contact all political parties in the country to draw a suggestion list for ensuring free, fair and transparent elections in the country. “These suggestions will include introduction of bio-metrics system and electronic voting,” he added. He warned the government that the political parties would not stay silent if it tried to rig local government polls like general elections.

Mr Qureshi declared that his party would strongly oppose local government elections on non-party basis. He demanded holding of elections under the supervision of judiciary. He disclosed that Nadra had told ECP in a briefing that biometrics system could be utilised during local government elections. He said that the PTI chief Imran Khan would soon send a letter to the government containing above-mentioned suggestions.

YOUTH INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME: The Punjab Government is going to kick off Punjab Youth Internship Programme 2014 from Multan in the last week of January or first week of February with an increased stipend of Rs. 12,000 per month. This was disclosed by Secretary Sports Punjab, Muhammad Khan Khitchi, after inaugurating a help desk in the Multan Chamber building on Tuesday. He further revealed that 20,000 students would be offered internships in different departments including health, livestock, textile, agriculture and other sectors. He further revealed that the provincial government had allocated funds worth Rs.1500 million for the internship programme

He said that all the District Coordination Officers would be focal persons in their respective districts to monitor the programme. He said that the programme would also bring a good news for the diploma holders with Matric as they would also be accommodated under this programme.