Representatives of political parties, legal fraternity and journalists on Monday bitterly criticised the Election Commission of Pakistan for what they termed its failure to conduct transparent and fair general elections, provide a level playing field to political parties and their candidates, and imposing restrictions on media coverage. Addressing a seminar titled “What Journalists Saw in General Elections 2018” at the Karachi Press Club on Monday, speakers called for reforms in election laws by removing all defects in the election procedures and for steps to be taken to ensure that the media is not restricted from covering the polls in future. The seminar was organised by the Karachi Union of Journalists-Dustoor group. Stating that the ECP failed to conduct fair elections, Pakistan Peoples Party Karachi President Saeed Ghani said that political parties were not provided a level playing field before and on the polling day. He said polling agents were not provided Form-45 after the counting process in sheer violation of the election laws.
Pak Sarzameen Party leader and Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra said that the elections in Karachi were used to fulfil the number game in the Centre. He claimed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was given 14 seats on merely 25 per cent votes polled in the city.
He added that Form-45 had still not been issued to the candidates, which raises doubts on the ECP’s performance. Haider Imam Rizvi, the president of the Karachi Bar Association, said all political parties, including PTI, have expressed reservations and grievances regarding the pre-polls, polling and after polling process.