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Monday July 15, 2024

PTI, GDA want SC orders implemented before local government elections

By Zia Ur Rehman
May 01, 2022

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), two major opposition parties in Sindh, on Saturday rejected the provincial government’s decision to conduct local government elections without implementing the Supreme Court’s orders regarding the local set-up.

A GDA delegation met PTI Sindh President and former federal minister Ali Zaidi at his residence to discuss the upcoming local government polls and other political affairs of the country.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced holding local government elections in Sindh in two phases. The process will start on June 3 and continue until July 28.

The GDA delegation included Barrister Hasnain Mirza and Sardar Abdul Rahim, while PTI leaders, including former provincial assembly opposition leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi, the party’s Karachi President Bilal Ghaffar, PA members Sidra Imran and Dr Sanjay, also attended the meeting.

Talking to the media after the meeting, Zaidi said that the PTI and the GDA will not allow the Sindh government to conduct the local government polls without the implementation of the Supreme Court’s orders.

In February, the apex court had announced its verdict on a petition filed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan seeking empowerment and autonomy for local government institutions in Sindh.

On the petition, the country’s top court had directed the provincial government to devolve the financial, administrative and political powers to the local government as enshrined under the constitution.

“We ask the Supreme Court who will implement its orders regarding the empowerment of the local government,” said Zaidi. “The Supreme Court has decided to complete the funding of the Provincial Finance Commission award to the local bodies. The Supreme Court has ordered to first amend the local bodies laws and then hold elections.”

He said that the Sindh government had said on the floor of the assembly that it will form a committee, but they did not form any committee. “The Sindh government doesn’t obey the orders of the Supreme Court. Where is this country going?”

This week, the PTI has also filed a constitutional petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC) asking the court to issue directives for the deferment of the announced local government elections in the province until the ruling by the Supreme Court on this count is implemented and the Sindh Local Government Act is revised in line with Article 140-A of the constitution.

“We hope that the SHC will uphold the decision of the Supreme Court,” said Zaidi. He said that the PTI humbly requests the Supreme Court to give a speedy verdict on the matter because the top court has been working on Sundays and at midnight these days.

GDA’s Rahim said that the Supreme Court had pronounced that the existing local government system was against the constitution and the law. “The PPP has become accustomed to violating the constitution and the law. Corruption has been rampant in Sindh for 15 years.”

Zaidi also expressed gratitude to the GDA on behalf of his party for standing by the PTI in every situation. He thanked the GDA leadership, particularly Pir Sahib Pagara.