ISLAMABAD   -  Many candidates in the Bajaur districts have expressed their reservations for not providing a level-playing field for the upcoming elections in the area.

Despite a notice has been issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against the Deputy Commissioner of newly formed district Bajaur for allegedly violating the election code by holding a tribal jirga in his office with a legislator from the ruling party and distributing cheques among the people, many candidates are still having some reservations.

Talking to The Nation, PML-N candidate for PK-101 Nizamuddin Khan said that they have reservations from the very start but despite the notice issued by the ECP to violators, there were still some activities spotted in the district that were tantamount to violations of election code.

He further added that they were not satisfied because they have not been provided a level-playing field and the authorities and government officials were backing the government candidates.

He elaborated that it was a pre-poll rigging and in order to address our reservations the ECP should keep a close eye on the whole activities otherwise they would not accept it as free and fair elections.

When the Deputy Commissioner Office Bajaur was contacted the officials in DC office termed the meeting as non-political and called it as a tradition of tribal regions.

In the statement given by the DC office, it was said that the meeting called by the DC was not having any agenda neither any political discussion had taken place during that meeting.

“The DC had called the meeting of local leaders (Maliks) in order to seek their cooperation in bringing peace in the region and it is the right and authority of DC to call a Jirga before or after the elections.”

However, the DC office in its statement rejected the distribution of cheques among people and termed it as baseless allegations.

The matter had emerged on social media after PML-N candidate for PK-101 Nizamuddin Khan posted an image on July 3 of a meeting of tribal elders of Nawagai at the DC office in the tribal district with PTI MNA from NA-40 Gul Dad Khan in the meeting.

Nizamuddin had raised questions over the election code violations and requested the ECP to pay attention to this serious issue.

Commenting on the issue, ECP Spokesperson Altaf Khan said that they have received some complaints from some of the candidates and action was taken against those who were involved in election code violations.

He further elaborated that ECP was monitoring things very closely and prompt action will be taken again against those who found involved in such violations.

Talking about the cheques distribution Altaf Khan said that it was the clear violation of elections codes and no such violations of election code would be tolerated.

Earlier this, notice was issued to DC Bajaur Usman Mehsud by the district Returning Officer Fazal Hakeem on the directions of ECP.