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Asif Hussain Takes Charge as ECP Secretary During Omar Hamid’s Absence

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has designated Syed Asif Hussain to oversee the administrative affairs of the electoral body during the medical leave of Secretary Omar Hamid Khan. In a notification, the ECP announced that Asif Hussain, currently serving as the special secretary at the ECP Secretariat, would assume the additional charge of secretary (BS-22) until further orders.

The decision received approval from Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja, following reports that Omar Hamid Khan had taken medical leave amid allegations of poor performance and an incident of alleged insult during a meeting with the Chief Election Commissioner. While initial reports suggested a resignation, the ECP later clarified that Hamid would resume his duties once his health permits, ensuring the commission’s continued functionality.

Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi emphasized that there was no crisis within the ECP, affirming its full functionality. Hamid, a retired grade 22 officer of the Secretariat Group, assumed the role of ECP secretary in July 2021 on a two-year contract, extended for an additional year after its expiration.

Hamid had previously served in various key positions, including secretary of finance, secretary of the Benazir Income Support Programme, and secretary of national food security. He also acted as the spokesperson for the interior minister during Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s tenure. Hamid disclosed that health issues led to his hospitalization, but he returned home to avoid the risk of further infection.

The appointment of Asif Hussain as acting secretary ensures the smooth functioning of the ECP during Hamid’s medical leave, and the commission remains focused on its responsibilities ahead of general polls.

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