Monday, February 05, 2024
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has stopped the centre from privatising the national flag carrier Pakistan International Airline (PIA), The News reported on Monday.
The ECP took this action under Section 230 of the Elections Act, which defines the role of a caretaker government.
ECP Secretary Dr Asif Hussain wrote to Secretary Cabinet Division Kamran Ali Afzal and sought all the documents, related to the privatisation of the PIA.
The top electoral body directed the caretaker federal government to refrain from taking any further steps, including signing an agreement till a decision is made by the ECP under Section 230.
According to Section 230, which concerns the functions of a caretaker government (1) A caretaker government shall—(a) perform its functions to attend to day-to-day matters necessary to run the affairs of the government; “(c) restrict itself to activities that are routine, non-controversial, urgent, in the public interest, and reversible by the future government elected after the elections; and “(2) The caretaker government shall not—(a) take major policy decisions except on urgent matters; (b) make any decision or a policy that may have an effect on or pre-empt the exercise of authority by the future elected government”.
A copy of the letter, available with The News, reads, “Kindly refer your letter No.2/1-2024-PS (CS) dated January 27, 2024, on the above subject. The matter raised in your letter was placed before the Election Commission, which after due examination of the issue, in the light of Section 230 of the Elections Act, 2017, and clause 5(b) of the Privatisation Commission Ordinance 2000, has directed that you be requested to provide all relevant documents prepared for approval of the cabinet, containing comprehensive privatisation programme in relation to privatisation of PIA, to this commission for review”.
The ECP further directed that the caretaker government should refrain from taking any further steps including signing of an agreement till a decision is made by the commission under Section 230. The letter calls upon the secretary Cabinet Division to take necessary action as per the direction of the Election Commission i.e. provide the related documents, privatisation programme in relation to privatisation of PIA to this commission for review.