ISLAMABAD, Jan 30: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has warned of potential election annulment in constituencies where women are obstructed from voting or face disruptions in the campaign process.
An ECP spokesperson stated the Commission can invoke Section 9 of the Elections Act, leading to nullification of the entire election exercise if women are impeded from casting votes.
This stern warning follows media reports that a group of scholars in Kohistan region has allegedly issued a fatwa barring women from participating in electioneering.
The ECP immediately sought a report from the District Monitoring Officer in Upper Kohistan, who clarified the news is inaccurate and stems from misunderstanding.
Nonetheless, the ECP has strictly cautioned against any attempts to deprive women of their right to vote and contest elections. Obstructing women will attract serious penalties under the law.
The unequivocal warning underscores ECP’s commitment to facilitating women’s political participation as candidates and voters. Analysts have lauded the ECP for its proactive stance to deter discriminatory voting restrictions.
With Pakistan’s next general elections approaching, the ECP has repeatedly emphasized that women’s voting rights will be protected and enforced at all costs across the country.