KARACHI: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday rejected the Sindh government’s plea for further postponement of the local body elections in Karachi.
A day earlier, the Sindh government wrote a letter to the ECP seeking postponement of the local body elections for three months in the Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.
The local body polls are scheduled to be held in Karachi on October 23.
In its response, the election body said that it is the responsibility of the provincial government and law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order during the polls.
The ECP, therefore, directed the provincial government to ensure police deployment during the election in the port city.
In its plea to the ECP, 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.
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