KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce a date for the local body elections in the port city.
The court heard the petitions filed by PTI and JI against the deferment of local body polls in Karachi.
During the hearing, the court also asked that the provincial government provide security to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The local government elections have been delayed multiple times since July after the Sindh government repeatedly refrained from providing security for the elections due to floods.
The elections were initially scheduled for July 24, but they were delayed due to "bad weather and rains". Then, polling was set to take place on August 28 and October 24, but the provincial government refused to provide security.
In its latest move to delay the polling further, the provincial cabinet had earlier this month approved delaying local government elections in Karachi Division for another 90 days under Sindh Local Government Act, 2013.
The ECP had also three days back reserved its ruling on the case of repeated postponement of local bodies elections in Karachi, while it is unclear when will the decision be announced.
In conversation with journalists after the ruling, PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman said that his party filed a petition against the delay two months ago.
Zaman said that the Sindh government have made a drama out of the local body polls. "The Sindh government and its allies know if the elections take place, it will be the final nail in their coffin," he added.
The PTI leader claimed that the court has ordered to hold elections within four weeks' time.
JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman said that the election commission should conduct the local elections as soon as possible and not delay them any further.
"This is not just a victory for JI, but a victory for the people of Karachi because through the elections they will get a leadership that can solve their problems," the JI chief said as he hoped that his party could help Karachiites.
Rehman then criticised the Sindh government for the delay in the elections and said that the PPP does not want to hold local elections. "They have police to send to Islamabad, but they cannot provide law enforcement officials for the elections."
"It is time for them to accept their defeat and brace themselves for the elections," he added.
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