Imran Khan warned against visiting Peshawar before local polls

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday warned Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan against flouting its code of conduct hours before he inaugurated a health insurance scheme in Peshawar, Dawn reported.

Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the “Micro Health Insurance Programme” during his day-long visit to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa capital.

In a letter to the Pakistani premier, the ECP referred to media reports about the PM’s scheduled visit to the provincial capital and reminded him of the commission’s November 4 notification, detailing instructions for parties and contesting candidates ahead of the elections, the report said.

The ECP had set December 19 and January 16 as the dates for the first and second phase of the local government elections in the province.

“After the issuance of election schedule, the President, Prime Minister, Governor, Speaker, Deputy Speaker of any assembly Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Senate, Federal and Provincial Ministers, Advisors to the Prime Minister or Chief Minister or any other holder of public office shall not visit the area of any local council to announce any development scheme or to canvass or campaign for any candidate,” the ECP said in its letter.

The ECP advised the Pakistan Prime Minister not to violate any provision of the code of conduct and instructions issued by the election commission, warning that “legal proceedings under Section-233 (code of conduct) and 234 (monitoring of election campaigns) of the Elections Act, 2017 shall be initiated against you”.

Meanwhile, special assistant to the KP chief minister on information Kamran Khan Bangash clarified that the premier’s visit to Peshawar was “purely an official one”.

“It [the visit] is a part of daily affairs of the state on which there are no restrictions,” he said in a statement, as per the report.

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