When electoral reforms are discussed in Pakistan, generally, political parties and other stakeholders complain of lack of “powers” and “independence” of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as the key institution constitutionally charged with the responsibility of holding free and fair elections in Pakistan. But, is the Election Commission really powerless in terms of efficient discharge of its responsibilities? What constitutes “independence” and what are the needed “constitutional powers” for the ECP after attaining which the ECP will be able to perform its functions better? How do the powers of the ECP compare with those of the Election Commission of India (ECI), revered within and outside India as an independent and powerful institute? This background paper, prepared especially for the Citizens Group on Electoral Process – CGEP, looks at the powers and functions of the ECP in an attempt to answer the question: How Independent is the Election Commission in Pakistan? Authored by Mr. Saleem Qazi, Former Former Joint Secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan and reviewed by legal input from CGEP, the paper discusses in detail available powers and privileges of the ECP, comparing those with the ECI. The paper concludes it is not the lack of Constitutional powers of the ECP that holds it back, but it is the lack of effective implementation of those powers that makes the ECP suffer from a deficit of trust in the Pakistani society.