Omar Hamid Khan stepped down as the federal secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday, reportedly due to health concerns.
Reportedly, Khan has been suffering from various ailments over the past month and feels he would not be able to perform his duties during upcoming general elections, due on Feb. 8. However, due to the timing—with just a month remaining until polls—news of his resignation immediately prompted social media discourse questioning whether this meant elections could be delayed, or he was being pressured to act in a manner he could not provide.
According to local media, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja has yet to accept Khan’s resignation from the post.
“ECP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan is an intelligent and hardworking officer, who is performing his duties with diligence. He is currently on medical rest due to some health issues. He will return to his duties immediately after his health recovery,” the ECP said in a statement issued after reports emerged of Khan’s resignation. “Special Secretary [Syed Asif Hussain] is fulfilling [election-related] tasks in the absence of the secretary,” it added.
The electoral body also emphasized it was fully functional and facing no hurdles in performing its election-related tasks. It said all ECP offices would remain functional even during holidays until polls were conducted on Feb. 8.
Interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi also refuted all rumors regarding the resignation of the ECP secretary. “Khan is currently ill and we pray for his early health recovery,” he said in a statement and urged the public to avoid falling prey to rumors and fake news. Maintaining that the electoral body was facing no hurdles to the performance of its tasks, he said it was on track to conduct the polls on Feb. 8.