ISLAMABAD The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has geared up efforts to prepare itself in case the government gives it a go-head signal to conduct the forthcoming LB polls in the provinces, sources said on Sunday. There has been no directive from the government, even then ECP has started efforts to prepare itself for any situation, a senior official informed TheNation requesting anonymity. He said that ECP has launched efforts to develop its human resource to meet its needs instead of seeking assistance from the judiciary or the government. These steps are part of the ECP plans to comply with the apex court verdict that in future no judicial officer would be made available to discharge elections-related duties as Returning Officers. The sources said that the apex court in its directives had made it clear that in future no judicial officers would be available for election duties as it adversely affects functions of the courts. ECP is geared up to have its own Returning Officers, and for this purpose it has asked the government for adequate steps that could enable the Election Commission to tackle these challenges, the sources said. The ECP has conducted two LB polls so far since promulgation of the Local Government Ordinance 2001, but its role about the countrys future LB polls remains dormant because of lack of consensus between the federal and provincial governments. The sources were of the view that the federal government wants to have a unified mechanism of conducting the future LB polls and that is possible only through the Election Commission, whereas some provinces including the Punjab want to conduct these elections under their own Provincial Election Authority in line with the mechanism that existed prior to the promulgation of LG Ordinance 2001. According to the informed sources, the federal government is seeking to evolve a unified mechanism to conduct even the LB polls through the ECP by amending some clauses of the laws relating to the elections. The sources said that the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms, headed by Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, 1s already working on some proposals in this connection to evolve a unified mechanism through the ECP.