April 06, 2022
ISLAMABAD—The stories in dailies The News and Dawn on Wednesday regarding the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) being 'under pressure' or 'springing into action' for holding the general elections had an uncanny resemblance.
In Dawn, the headline was ECP 'under pressure' to prepare options for delimitation, while in The News, it was ECP looking for ways to hold elections in 90 days.
The story in Dawn is elaborate and includes comments from the former ministers and the opposition leaders regarding the possibility of holding elections in 90 days. On the other hand, the story in The News seems to be a shortened version of the news in Dawn.
However, a closer review reveals almost similar paragraphs in the two newspapers:
Dawn: Section 17 (2) of the Elections Act 2017 directs the ECP to delimit constituencies after every census is officially notified. The current delimitation had been carried out on the basis of provisional results of the 2017 census under a one-time waiver of the legal provision.
The News: Section 17 (2) of the Elections Act 2017 directs the ECP to delimit constituencies after every census is officially notified. The current delimitation had been carried out on the basis of provisional results of the 2017 census under a one-time waiver of the legal provision.
Dawn: Even after the publication of the final results of the census in May last year, the commission did not conduct delimitation, perhaps because of the declared intention of the PTI to carry out fresh census in 2023.
The News: However, notwithstanding the publication of final results of the national census in May last year, the commission could not conduct delimitation and the reason given for this is the former PTI government decision of carrying out a fresh census.
Dawn: He said the law provided for one month to invite objections followed by a process of hearing, adding that if the objections were heard simultaneously, it could save time.
The News: The sources said the law provides for one month to invite objections followed by the process of hearing. If the objections are heard simultaneously, this could he handy in view of limited time.
Dawn: Meanwhile, the ECP had to clarify that it had not issued any statement about holding of elections, but at the same time did not say whether it was ready to conduct the polls in three months.
The News: Meanwhile, the ECP has issued a brief statement to clarify that it has not issued any statement regarding the elections.
Dawn: He asserted: "If this is so, why is the ECP not ready? What are they withdrawing salaries for? Why do they continue to hold offices if they cannot meet their constitutional responsibility?"
The News: "If this is so why the ECP is not ready? What are they drawing salaries for? Why they continue to hold offices if they cannot meet their constitutional responsibility," Mr Qureshi wondered.
Earlier on Tuesday, ECP denied a Dawn story in which an official of the commission expressed an inability to hold general elections in 90 days. President Arif Alvi on Wednesday officially wrote to the ECP to hold elections in 90 days.
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