Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday rejected a proposal by the government to lift ban on recruitment ahead of the parliamentary elections.
The Law Ministry had recently written to the Chief Election Commissioner for lifting ban on fresh jobs as it was affecting performance of the several government departments.
The Election Commission issued a formal directive notifying continuation of the ban on new recruitments and diversion of development funds.
It was, however, clarified that all vacancies which were advertised on or before 31st of August last year are outside the purview of the ban and may be filled-in.
Section of the local media had earlier reported that the ruling coalition had planned to recruit thousands of people before the election just for political purposes.
The government will complete its term in mid-March and elections are scheduled to be held within three months.
Some ministers have indicated that the polls could be held in the first week on May.
The Election Commission said that all appointments shall be made strictly in accordance with the rules applicable to such appointments and purely on merit.
The institutions established under the Constitution are exempted from the ban on recruitments, a Commission`s notification said.
The Commission said requests from ministries, divisions, departments or institutions of the federal government or any department or institution of any provincial or local government including health and education department will be considered on case-to-case basis by the Election Commission.
About diversions of funds it said no funds will be diverted from an ongoing project to a new or existing development project in any constituency.
The directive said the development projects already in progress may continue without interruption where no diversion of funds is required.
Requests from foreign donors to divert funds from one project to another will be considered by the Commission on case-to-case basis.
Diversion of funds in respect of projects of strategic importance will also be considered by the Election Commission on case-to-case basis, it said.