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Karachi: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has reserved the verdict regarding holding of second phase of local bodies election in Karachi and Hyderabad.
A five member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja heard the petitions of holding second phase of local bodies elections in Karachi and Hyderabad.
Jamat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi Chief Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman, Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Waseem Akhtar, administrator Karachi Murtaza Wahab appeared as a representative of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and representative of Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaf(PTI) also attended the hearing.
On the other hand Chief Secretary Sindh, Inspector General (IG) Sindh and secretary local bodies were also attended the hearing held in Karachi.
Special secretary ECP, Zafar Iqbal apprised the election body that owing to the floods the second phase of Local Bodies Elections were postponed while the Sindh government has approved 90-day delay in the elections while the ECP has ready to hold local bodies elections in Karachi and Hyderabad.
During course of the hearing, the CEC asked the home department what is the position of Frontier Constublary (FC) and Rangers regarding the local bodies elections, to which, the home department officials claimed that the forces are still busy in the floods and maintaining law and order situation adding that we are not in a position that we could provide security.
They said that the situation is not conducive that civil armed forces could be provided for security in the local bodies elections in Karachi and Hyderabad.
Murtaza Wahab adopted the view that owing to the rains and floods the the second phase of local bodies elections were postponed twice while the administrator of Karachi claimed that water still scattered at 25 to 30 percent areas of Sindh.
The PPP politician said that it is not possible to provide administrative staff and security in the local bodies election in Karachi.He said that Karachi has 4900 polling stations out of which 1300 are sensitives adding that at every polling station there is need of eight police personnel.
The CEC questioned “you are not in position to provide security? and yesterday you said that in the Sindh High Court (SHC) you are ready to hold the elections and it is authority of the ECP to give dates of the elections.
Sikandar Sultan Raja said that the Sindh government can’t lower the authority of the ECP by legislation.The CEC said that the local bodies elections should be held in 120 days adding that the provincial government does’nt want to hold the local bodies elections.
He went on to say the local bodies elections in the past were held in the provinces with the hard efforts adding that we are also facing a great deal of difficulties in holding local bodies elections in Punjab but we will hold it.
Later, the ECP reserved the verdict on the local bodies elections in Karachi.
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