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Article 62 empowers Returning Officers to ask religious questions

Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan

Pakistan, Islamabad News – Article 62 of the Constitution empowers Returning Officers to ask religious questions as the said article clearly stated the candidate must have adequate knowledge of Islam, said Secretary ECP Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan on Friday.

Speaking to media representatives, he said that Returning officers and District Returning Officers are functioning independently and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is issuing no directions to them.

“As per law, the election commission cannot interfere in the affairs of judiciary. Returning Officers, District Returning officers are acting on their own. Scrutiny of the nomination papers is their duty under the constitution,” he said.

Khan said the ROs and DROs were free in asking questions and the ECP had nothing to do with their conduct, adding that the returning officers were asked to supervise elections on the recommendations of political parties.

In September 2012, the ECP had requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan to allow judiciary to conduct the ensuing elections that had been allowed.

Responding to a question he denied any conversation with Senator Ishaq Dar of PML-N, saying that he had not talked to him for the last one week.

The ECP has received 23,400 nomination forms, out of those around 17,000 forms have been forwarded to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), State Bank of Pakistan and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Agencies

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