A major portion of the document comprises
sections of the codes of conduct of 1997 and 2002 elections.
The draft is divided into three portions titled general conduct,
meetings and polling day.
The code in clear terms said that political
parties’ officials, candidates or others shall not encourage
or enter into agreements debarring women from becoming candidates
or exercising their right to vote in an election. Political
parties and candidates shall firmly restrain their workers
from exerting undue pressure on the print and
electronic media, including newspapers offices
and printing press, or resorting to violence of any kind against
the media. An incomplete Election Commission has okayed the
code, and its meeting on finalisation of the document was
boycotted by all but five parties. The code said that political
parties, contesting candidates and their workers shall not
propagate against the participation of any person in the elections
on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion or caste. Similarly,
ministers shall not combine their official visits with election
campaign. Moreover, political parties and contesting candidates
shall not procure support or assistance of any civil servant
to promote or hinder the election of a candidate.
Political parties shall refrain from speeches
meant to arouse parochial and sectarian feelings and controversy
between genders, sects, communities and linguistic groups.
Likewise, appeals for violence or resorting to violence during
meetings, processions or during the polling hours shall be
strictly avoided, says the draft code. Parties or candidates
will inform the concerned authorities 24 hours prior to their
planned activity, and the administration and returning officers
will ensure compliance with the laws and the election rules.
No person in any manner shall cause injury
to any person or damage any property. Moreover, carrying and
display of all kinds of lethal weapons and firearms shall
not be allowed in public meetings, processions and official
regulations shall be strictly observed. Aerial firing, use
of crackers and other explosives at public meetings shall
not be permitted.
The right of an individual to peaceful domestic
life shall be respected, irrespective of any resentment that
a political party or a candidate may have against such individual
for his political opinion or activities. The code said that
organising demonstrations or picketing before the house of
such individuals with a view to protesting against his political
opinion or activities shall be prohibited under any circumstances.
No political party or candidate shall permit
followers to make use of any individual's land, building,
compound wall etc., without his permission for hoisting party
flags, hanging banners, pasting notices or writing slogans.
Parties and politicians shall refrain from
making references to secret and confidential matters, which
were within their official knowledge when they were in power.
Nor shall they betray the confidence they enjoyed by virtue
of their official position. Criticism of other political parties
shall be confined to their policies and programmes, past record
and work. Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism
of all aspects of private life, not connected with public
activities of the leaders or workers of other parties.
Political parties and candidates shall refrain
from making such comments on international issues as are likely
to strain the government's relations with other countries,
nor shall they say anything or do anything in any manner,
which might prejudice Pakistan’s foreign relations.
Controversial and harsh remarks about leaders of other countries
and their ideologies shall be avoided. No person or political
party shall affix posters, hoardings, banners or leaflets
or handbills larger than the sizes prescribed by the Election