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Saturday November 26, 2022

Sindh govt requests ECP to postpone LG polls for three months

Local body polls, originally supposed to take place in July, were delayed due to flooding in Sindh

October 03, 2022
A man ballot casts his vote in a polling station. — AFP/File
A man ballot casts his vote in a polling station. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Government of Sindh on Monday wrote a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seeking postponement of the local body elections for three months in the Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.

In the letter, Sindh's Home Ministry enclosed a letter from the Inspector General of Police Sindh Ghulam Nabi Memon which states that in order to ensure security during the local government elections, the police force will have to be arranged from the district and rural Sindh along with auxiliaries to meet the shortfall, which is currently engaged in flood relief operations and maintenance of law and order due to damaged infrastructure across the province.

In this regard, the Sindh Police wrote that it will not be able to ensure the deployment of personnel and required assistance for the local government elections in the Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.

For the local body poll, Karachi expected deployment of 39,293 police personnel out of which 14,958 police personnel had to be provided/arranged from districts of interior Sindh while a reserve of 7,150 was planned to be raised from auxiliaries to meet the shortfall, as per the scales given by the Election commission.

Sindh Police said it could only manage a few thousand personnel from all available resources, which was only possible if all of the Karachi police force — deployed in flood-hit areas — are called back on duty.

"There will be a shortfall of 16,786 police personnel from the desired/required security deployment planned for LGE Phase 2," the letter read, adding that the enormous shortfall of manpower required for the polls cannot be met without deploying police from rural Sindh who is unavailable for at least three months.

Earlier, Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah hinted that local government elections will not be held in Sindh for the next few months.

Speaking during Geo News' programme "Capital Talk", CM Murad said the provincial government has only managed to send aid to 25% of the flood victims, while deaths continue to be recorded. He also shared that Sindh's infrastructure has been destroyed.

Sindh's chief minister clearly stated that no one can even consider conducting elections in this situation.

The ECP had announced that the local body elections in Karachi Division's districts would be held on October 23.

The elections were initially supposed to take place in July. However, polls were postponed in Karachi and other cities of Sindh due to heavy flooding across the province.