16 out of 23 Recorded Postings and Transfers among Police in Punjab

ISLAMABAD, March 1, 2013: 23 postings and transfers recorded in 11 districts across Pakistan. Eight of the districts were in Punjab, two in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and one in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Pre-Election Update 7.

Most of the 23 transfers and postings (20, or 87%) were recorded in eight districts of Punjab. The highest number was noted in the police department of Punjab, with 16 transfers constituting 69% of all cases. DLTOs reported 23 cases of postings and transfers in the judiciary, police, district administration, education department and other district government departments in 11 districts during the month of February.

The highest number of postings and transfers was observed in the police department of Punjab constituting more than two-thirds (69%) of all cases. A total of 13 Station House Officers (SHOs), two District Police Officers (DPOs) and one Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Operations were transferred in Punjab.

The SHOs were changed in Okara, Khanewal, Rawalpindi, Sialkot and Hafizabad. DPOs in Sargodha and Sialkot were shifted, along with SSP Operations in Rawalpindi. One District and Sessions Judge was transferred in Vehari, one civil judge in Khanewal, an Assistant Commissioner (AC) in Vehari, and another (unspecified) civil servant in Gujranwala. One Executive District Officer (EDO) was transferred in Kurram Agency of FATA, and two other (unspecified) public servants in Nowshera and Haripur districts of KP.

Based on information gathered in 11 districts, FAFEN recommends that ECP should rigorously enforce its notifications and other laws barring the last-minute postings and transfers of state employees around the country before elections and all public departments, including the police, should vigilantly follow these notifications and laws to ensure transparency and fairness in the upcoming elections. All FAFEN observers adhere to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) Code of Conduct for National Observers as well as the Global Principles for Non-Partisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations (April 2012). FAFEN’s 10-month observation process, that began on February 1, 2013, will help keep all election stakeholders informed on issues relevant to fairness and transparency at every stage of the election process.

FAFEN’s election observation activities are based on the Constitution and laws of Pakistan, global best practice standards for elections, as well as the legal obligations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by Pakistan in 2010. FAFEN LTOs use standardized checklists to report electronically to the FAFEN Election Observation Secretariat in Islamabad regularly. FAFEN compiles data and information from around the country to issue regular thematic updates for the consideration of voters and election stakeholders.

FAFEN LTOs monitor and report on the activities of District Election Commissioner (DEC) offices, preparations of elections such as appointment and training of election officials, the process of candidate nominations, and compliance with the ECP’s Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates (after the announcement of election schedule). In addition, LTOs observe and report on compliance of the executive branch with legal responsibilities and ECP regulations, including restrictions on transfers of civil service personnel and initiation of new development schemes. LTOs also monitor political and electoral intimidation and violence, the actions of the police and