A few days after impeding the restructuring of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is now urging the caretaker government to halt the privatization process of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). In a letter addressed to the cabinet secretary less than a week before the upcoming general election, the ECP has instructed the caretaker government to refrain from taking any further actions, including entering into agreements related to PIA’s privatization, until the Commission makes a decision in accordance with Section 230 of the Constitution.

The ECP has specifically requested the government to furnish all pertinent documents prepared for Cabinet approval, including a comprehensive privatization program for PIA, as mandated by Clause 5(b) of the Privatisation Commission Ordinance, 2000, and Section 230 of the Constitution. Last week, the ECP advised Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar to avoid implementing major reforms in the FBR and to leave them pending for consideration by the new government to be elected through the General Elections 2024.

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In a letter dated January 30th, the ECP asserted its responsibility, as outlined in Article 218(3) of the Constitution, to conduct elections and emphasized its obligation to highlight actions that the caretaker government should refrain from, as per Section 230 of the mentioned Act.

The ECP explicitly stated that the proposed overhaul of the FBR constitutes a significant policy decision within the purview of an elected government’s prerogative.

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