KARACHI - Decorated with flags of different political parties, the government Girls secondary school in Shah Faisal Colony Block 4 of the city depicts the true picture of the Election Commission of Pakistan failure in implementing its code of conduct in true letter and spirit in the metropolis.

According to ECP code of conduct for the polling Day, a complete ban on all sorts of campaigning and canvassing of voters for a particular candidate is to be ensured within the radius of 400 meters of a polling station and any violation could lead to maximum punishment of disqualification and fine.

When asked from the presiding officer Ghulam Shabbir at the station as to why implementation was not made on the conduct, he said that he was only authorized to control the polling station.

“The returning officers and other concerned officials had visited the polling station before and they were responsible to remove it,” he said.

However, PTI worker Muhammad Ali, who was at nearby party camp, was annoyed with the response and said that large panaflexes and flags of PSP, MQM-P and MQM-H have created polling station as a party office rather than an independent place. “The authorities should have taken action against it as it could have a psychological impact on the voter,” he said.

In another violation, the political parties continued to distribute voters’ booths guidance parchis [papers] inscribed with party election symbols and candidates photos. The ECP conduct only allowed distribution of parchis without any party signs.

The ECP had appointed different monitoring officials in the city constituencies to report the violations, which would have to be removed by local administration led by deputy commissioners.   

A monitoring committee official in district Korangi while speaking on condition of anonymity said that they had conveyed code of conduct violations to the ECP and district authorities with proofs and now it is their duty to ensure action against it.

“We also received complaints of missing facilities and stationary at the polling stations in some constituencies of the district,” he said.

Meanwhile, the political parties including PTI, MMA and PPP had also expressed reservations on polling process in some constituencies.

The PPP claimed that the chief polling agent of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in NA-246, Yousuf Baloch, was barred from entering a polling station. The spokesman for Bilawal said that the chief polling agent was refrained from entering the station by PSP and army officials and the counting of votes is underway without PPP polling agent.    

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Karachi chapter also complained of slowing down voting process in some constituencies including NA 250, NA-243 and other areas and blamed the ill trained staff for the issue.

PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman also claimed that in PS-110, the policemen were asking voters to vote for the PPP symbol (Arrow).

Responding to the issue of barring media from entering booths, the caretaker chief minister said that as per the ECP rules the media coverage was not allowed in the polling booth and strict surveillance is being carried out from the security authorities through CCTV cameras installed at the polling stations.