The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has given a complete public warning to bring issues to light in regard to the flood of fake calls circulating on WhatsApp. People who receive suspicious calls or messages, particularly those claiming to be from high-ranking ECP officials, should heed the official statement from the ECP.
Because of reports, the ECP has especially featured a progression of fake calls and messages imitating the Chief Election Commissioner. The advisory advises recipients to contact the ECP through a landline to confirm the authenticity of calls or messages to combat such deceptive communication. This direct verification process is crucial in preventing any unwarranted actions based on misleading information.
The advisory extends its reach to include ECP members, encompassing district returning officers (DROs) and returning officers (ROs). Instructing caution, the ECP emphasizes that these members should exercise prudence and avoid taking any immediate action on calls or messages until the staff officer of the Chief Election Commissioner conducts thorough verification.
Furthermore, the advisory underscores the importance of adherence to these guidelines by the entire election staff, including DROs and ROs. It seeks to create a robust framework where individuals involved in the election process exercise restraint and due diligence in responding to communications to maintain the integrity of the electoral system.
Simultaneously, the ECP has issued a circular to provincial election commissioners, explicitly prohibiting the display of government officials’ pictures on election candidates’ posters, banners, and handbills. Violation of this directive, as outlined in clause 27 of the election code of conduct, could lead to corrective action against candidates utilizing such imagery.
This multi-faceted approach by the Election Commission of Pakistan aims to fortify the electoral process by safeguarding against misinformation and upholding the standards of conduct during the election period.