ISLAMABAD: In a recent development, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary, Omar Hamid Khan, has tendered his resignation citing health issues, according to sources. The resignation has been submitted just weeks before the scheduled general elections on February 8, adding a new dimension to the electoral landscape.
While the sources disclosed Khan’s decision to step down, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan is yet to formally accept the resignation, keeping the status of the electoral body’s secretary in flux.
The timing of Khan’s resignation adds intrigue to the upcoming general elections, where concerns about a lack of a level playing field have been raised by prominent political entities, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The ECP has been at the centre of controversy, with the PTI filing a plea seeking contempt proceedings against the electoral body.
Earlier today, ECP Special Secretary Dr Syed Asif Hussain rejected PTI’s allegations of a lack of a level playing field, urging the Supreme Court to dismiss the contempt petition with costs.
Omar Hamid Khan, a retired grade 22 officer of the Secretariat Group, assumed the role of ECP secretary in July 2021 on a contractual basis. His extensive career includes serving as special secretary of finance, secretary of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), and national food security, among other responsibilities. Additionally, Khan has served as the spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, showcasing his diverse experience.
CEC Raja had extended Khan’s tenure as ECP secretary for one year in July of the previous year, highlighting his valuable contributions to the electoral body. With over 30 years of experience in socio-economic analysis on international and domestic issues, Khan’s resignation marks a significant development, raising questions about the leadership dynamics within the ECP in the run-up to the crucial general elections.