Islamabad: With the government set to complete its five-year term on March 16, Pakistan`s Election Commission on Wednesday said the schedule for the next general election would be announced 10 days after the dissolution of the national and provincial assemblies.
Election Commission Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed told a news briefing that the process for holding the election was "already in progress" and the poll panel had notified the names of returning officers.
The election schedule would be made public 10 days after the dissolution of the current assemblies, he said.
"All arrangements have been completed for the holding of fair, free and impartial elections," Ahmed said.
The Election Commission is receiving applications from political parties for the allotment of symbols, he said.
Ahmed spoke to the media after the poll panel held a meeting to decide whether persons convicted for defaulting on loans and evading taxes could be allowed to contest the elections.
Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ibrahim presided over the meeting. The poll panel will take all possible steps to ensure that persons contesting the polls met constitutional standards for honesty, Ahmed said.
A cell has been set up in the Election Commission to verify the nomination papers of candidates.
Members of the National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan`s main anti-corruption agency, the State Bank and the Federal Bureau of Revenue are part of this cell.
Several leaders of the ruling Pakistan People`s Party have said that the next general election will be held by mid-May.