ECP to Complete Printing of Ballot Papers by February 2

As the general elections in Pakistan approach, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is making significant strides in its preparations. The ECP has announced that the printing of ballot papers, which commenced on January 16, will be completed by February 2. This process is being carried out by three government press institutes and is progressing satisfactorily.

In addition to the printing, the ECP has also initiated the delivery of ballot papers across all provinces in the country. This task is being undertaken with the assistance of security agencies, and the ballot papers are being transported via both road and air.

To facilitate voters, the ECP has launched an 8300 SMS service from January 29, 2024. By sending their identity card number to 8300, voters can obtain information about their polling station and other voting details. The ECP has urged all voters to avail this service in a timely manner to avoid any inconvenience on the polling day.

The ECP has also been proactive in training the polling staff. So far, 970,000 out of the required 976,000 polling staff have been trained, which is 96% of the total required number. The training of the remaining 6,000 polling personnel is expected to be completed in the next four days.

The ECP has been vigilant in addressing any potential issues that could affect the election process. It has taken immediate notice of a news item suggesting that a group of Ulema in Kohistan had issued a fatwa banning women from campaigning. The commission sought a report from the district monitoring officer, Kohistan Upper, who clarified that the news was a result of a misconception.

The ECP has also responded to incidents of clashes and firing between two political parties in Karachi over flag hoisting and snatching of postal ballots in the Swabi district. The commission has requested reports from the chief secretary and the IG concerned to take appropriate action under election laws.

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