The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday took notice of a complaint by four Sialkot Jail officials stating that they were being coerced by their seniors to ensure that all voters in the prison voted for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
Election Commission Director General Sher Afgan said they had received the complaint and that it had been sent to the Punjab Election Commissioner Mehboob Anwer for inquiry.
Anwer said the complaint had been sent to the Home Department. He said the department had been directed to respond at the earliest and file an inquiry report. However, he said, they had not yet received a reply from them.
Punjab Prisons IG Farooq Nazeer said he had constituted an inquiry committee under Prisons DIG Mubashar Ahmad Khan to probe the allegation. Khan’s report, he said, had been sent to the Home Department from where it would go to the ECP. Nazeer said the complaint appeared to be a mischief by some jail officials. “There are 1,110 votes in jails all over the Punjab. This gives an estimate of five to six votes per constituency. That would not make much difference to the results anywhere,” he said.
A similar complaint was filed last week by some jail officials from Lahore’s Camp Jail against their superintendent, Ejaz Asghar. Prisons DIG Saliq Jalal had visited the jail and decided that the allegation was false.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2013.