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Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja on Friday approved the appointment of Qurat ul Ain Fatima as the new spokesperson of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

“Ms Qurat ul Ain Fatima, presently posted as the director (Media Coordination & Outreach) in her own pay and scale in this Secretariat, is hereby declared as 'spokesperson' of the ECP with immediate effect until further orders in place of Haroon Khan,” a notification issued by the ECP said.

Earlier this week, the ECP sacked its spokesperson Haroon Shinwari for issuing a statement “without directions from the higher authorities” regarding the holding of polls in case of the dissolution of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies by the PTI.

“Although it is difficult to hold provincial elections and national elections in the same year, we are bound by the law,” Shinwari had said in response to the reports of the dissolution of assemblies.

He said that elections will only be carried out on the seats of Punjab and KP rather than National Assembly (NA) seats.

However, soon after, the ECP distanced itself from Shinwari’s statement and demanded an explanation within 24 hours.

His statement came after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan said that it was better to quit assemblies than "be a part of a corrupt system".

"We will not be part of this system. We have decided to quit all the assemblies and get out of this corrupt system," said Imran.

"My party has not come to Rawalpindi for elections or politics. It is the need of the country to have fresh elections."

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