In response to the deluge of fraudulent WhatsApp messages, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued a public call to action. Pay attention to the official statement from the ECP if you get any dubious calls or texts, especially if they claim to be from high-ranking ECP officials.
According to the claims, the ECP has highlighted a series of phone conversations and texts that appear to be from the Chief Election Commissioner. If you or someone you know has received a suspicious call or message, you may protect yourself against this type of scam by contacting the ECP via landline. In order to avoid taking any unjustified decisions based on false information, this method of direct verification is essential.
Members of the ECP, including both returning officers (ROs) and district returning officers (DROs), are within the advisory’s purview. Members are advised to proceed with care and refrain from responding hastily to calls or texts until the Chief Election Commissioner’s staff officer verifies everything. This is in accordance with the ECP’s instructions.
Adherence to these rules by the whole election team, including DROs and ROs, is further emphasised in the recommendation. To ensure the honesty of the voting process, it aspires to provide a solid framework where all parties participating in the election process respond to communications with caution and care.
At the same time, via a circular to provincial election commissioners, the ECP has made it clear that candidates cannot use images of government officials on their campaign materials. Candidates that employ such images may face disciplinary action for violating this guideline, as stated in clause 27 of the election code of conduct.
With this multi-pronged strategy, the Election Commission of Pakistan hopes to strengthen the democratic process by preventing the spread of false information and ensuring that all participants adhere to the highest ethical standards.