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Saturday March 02, 2024

Sindh cabinet okays deferment of Karachi LG polls for 90 days

The Sindh cabinet approved a proposal seeking an adjournment of the second phase of local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad for another 90 days

By Our Correspondent
November 12, 2022
Ballot boxes. The ECP site.
Ballot boxes. The ECP site.

KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Friday approved a proposal seeking an adjournment of the second phase of local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad for another 90 days.

A letter written by Sindh Local Government and Housing Town Planning Department to the Election Commission of Pakistan reads: “The cabinet, by way of circulation, approved the proposal to postpone the Local Government Election 2022 in Karachi Division for 90 daysas empowered by the Sindh Local Government Act 2013.”

Earlier this week, the Sindh LG Department had also written to ECP stating that as per Section 34 (2) of the Sindh Local Government Act 2013, the government, in consultation with the ECP, has to make an announcement of the date on which the polls for the councils should be conducted in the province or part. The date of such election should not be less than 60 days and not more than 120 days from the date of such announcements.

Last week, the Sindh High Court (SHC), while hearing a petition filed by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against consecutive deferment of the LG polls, had directed the Sindh inspector general of police (IGP) and Rangers director general (DG) to file reports with regard to the provision of security for holding the local bodies elections in Karachi. The two-member bench, headed by SHC Chief Justice Justice Ahmed Ali M Shaikh and Justice Yousaf Ali, also expressed displeasure over the holdup of the LG polls.

The Sindh government has been writing to the Election Commission that the second phase of elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions could not be conducted owing to a lack of police force. As per the official correspondence between the Election Commission and the provincial government, police personnel were busy in flood relief activities and additional police force was required to conduct the LG polls. The government also informed the commission that Sindh Police would perform duties in Islamabad at the interior ministry’s request to handle the long march of PTI.

It is pertinent to mention that the ECP has fixed November 15, the date of hearing for the case of Karachi LG polls.