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Karachi: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will pronounce verdict on holding of second phase of local bodies elections in Karachi and Hyderabad.
The ECP will announce the decision at 3 pm afternoon while the election body had reserved the verdict on November 15.
It is pertinent to mention here that the local bodies election in Karachi and Hyderabad has been postponed thrice on the various request of the Sindh government.
SHC Ordered To Hold Local Bodies Elections in Karachi and Hyderabad
The Sindh High Court has on November 18 ordered immediate local government (LG) elections in Karachi and Hyderabad and directed the provincial government to ensure security needs for the polls.
The court concluded the hearing of petitions lodged by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).
“Sindh government should provide security and other facilities for the elections,” the court directed.
It also rejected Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) petition that requested a delay in LG elections until amendment in local government laws were finalised.
The court will issue a written verdict later during the day.
The second phase of the Sindh LG elections was originally scheduled for July 24 but the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) moved it to August 28 citing “possible rains and bad weather” in Sindh.
On August 24, the ECP postponed the polls for a second time due to persistent rains and risk of urban flooding and announced that voting would be held on October 23.
JI Karachi Chief Welcomes SHC Verdict
Jamat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chapter Nazim Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman has welcomed the verdict of the Sindh High Court (SHC) over holding of the second phase of local bodies elections in Karachi and Hyderabad.
Commenting on the verdict of the SHC, the JI Ameer Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman said that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P)are responsible for delay in the local bodies elections.
Hafiz Naeem Ur Rehman demanded the Sindh government to remove administrator Karachi. He alleged the administrator that he makes one road and later another one breaks.
He said that the administrator only task has to conduct corruption.
Last Hearing Of ECP
On last hearing, a five member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja had 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 had 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 had approved 90-day delay in the elections while the ECP had 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 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 in the province.
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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