Wednesday December 06, 2023

PTI, JI demand ECP fix date for LG polls

By Our Correspondent
August 27, 2022

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Sindh Assembly member Firdous Shamim Naqvi has demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) immediately announce the local government elections date.

Talking to the media in front of the provincial office of the ECP, Naqvi said the PTI was told that the second phase of the local bodies elections in Sindh had been postponed due to heavy rains, but it seemed that rains were just a pretext to defer the local government elections indefinitely as the opponents of the PTI were certain of their defeat.

Referring to the recent by-election in the NA-245 constituency, he said the worst defeat had shocked the opponents of the PTI. Naqvi said the ECP had postponed the LG elections in violation of the apex court decision and the provincial government did not intend to hold the elections. He added that the PTI had approached the judiciary against the ECP and Sindh government.

It had been more than a month since the ballot papers were printed, the PTI MPA said, adding that after the delivery of the ballot papers and boxes to the government machinery, they were not safe.

A majority of the deputy commissioners in Sindh had been appointed on a political basis by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and in that situation, there could be no guarantee that the elections would not be rigged, he said.

JI protest

A large number of the Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) workers and supporters assembled outside the ECP office on Friday to record their protest over another delay in the local government elections in the city.

Carrying placards and banners, the protesters shouted slogans against the ECP and demanded that the commission hold the elections immediately. The JI also announced a 10-day deadline for the announcement of the date of the local government elections, and

warned that in case the ECP did not announce the date, a decisive sit-in would be staged on the pattern of the earlier 29-day sit-in of the party outside the Sindh Assembly.

JI Karachi Emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman in his address alleged that the ECP had been attempting to deprive the people of Karachi of their local government setup.

He said the ECP had earlier announced that holding elections was not possible in Hyderabad but easily possible in the Karachi division. He asked the chief election commissioner to tell what compelled him to decide against his own announcements.

He alleged that the ECP had played the role of a PPP agent in Sindh. He went on to say that the PPP wanted deferral of local government elections to avoid its political death in the urban areas of the province.

He also questioned that ECP over flawed voter lists and tolerating a political administrator in Karachi despite the announcement of the local government elections. The JI leader asked the people of Karachi to write letters to the chief election commissioner and chief justice of Pakistan, demanding immediate local government elections.

He also talked about the issues of power bills and flood in several divisions of Sindh. Rehman said the JI was to hold a referendum across the city to take people on board in connection with paying or refusing to pay excessive electricity bills. He added that the JI would be standing by the masses if a majority of them decided to vote against paying the bills.

Addressing Khurrum Dastagir, the federal minister for water and energy, he said that the people of Karachi were perturbed by the K-Electric (KE) that had been fleecing them and any measure to extend the agreement and licence for work to the KE would not be tolerated.

Dastagir and Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail should explain why the KE was excessively charging the people of Karachi when the federal government was providing 1,000 megawatt electricity free of cost to the private company.

The JI leader demanded that the licence of the KE be revoked and a forensic audit of its accounts be carried out. Rehman also announced a 10-day relief campaign for the flood-affected people. He asked the people of Karachi to come forward and donate generously to the AlKhidmat, the charity wing of the JI, for the noble cause.

He recalled that during the 2010 floods, the JI had hosted 65,000 displaced people. He added that the party would again do so if needed. He lamented that the Sindh government had miserably failed to discharge its responsibilities. The PPP had been ruling in Sindh for over 14 years but it did nothing for the progress and development of the province, he said and alleged that thousands of billions of rupees and other resources were plundered during the past 14 years and no progress was made in any department.

He lauded the volunteers of the AlKhidmat and other organisations engaged in the rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations. The JI leader asked the chief minister why 11 of the 66 gates of the Sukkur Barrage were closed. He further asked what the Sindh government had done for the interior Sindh during the past one-and-a-half decade.