ANI Photo | Pak Election Commission rejects Sindh govt’s request, says local polls to go ahead as per schedule

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday rejected the Sindh government’s request to delay local polls and said that the local government (LG) elections in Karachi and Hyderabad will be held as per schedule on January 15, Dawn reported.
An official handout signed by the ECP spokesperson announced the electoral body’s decision while ordering the Sindh government to ensure “foolproof preparations for peaceful elections,” as per the news report.
On Saturday, the Sindh government had again requested the Election Commission of Pakistan to delay the local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad citing “threats to various political leaders and workers of political parties” as warned by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, according to dawn.
The request from the Sindh government comes after the provincial government on Friday announced that the local body elections would not be held and the notification to hold the elections based on the existing delimitation had also been withdrawn on the demand of their “coalition partner”, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).

Later in the day, the ECP rejected the Sindh government’s request and said that the elections will be held on January 15 as per schedule, according to Dawn. Soon after the ECP’s announcement, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon stressed that the electoral body could not reject the provincial government’s decision to postpone local government elections in the two cities.
In a letter to the election commissioner, the local government department said that a meeting was held at the chief secretary’s office on Friday wherein “the law enforcement and intelligence agencies” informed the participants regarding the law and order situation along with specific threats to various political leaders and political parties workers.
The letter said that the Sindh cabinet had raised its concern with the non-availability of the Pakistan armed forces for deployment at polling stations. According to the letter, the meeting “corroborated the fear and apprehension of the government” considering the prevailing situation, as per the Dawn report.
The letter called for a greater need for the presence of Pakistani army troops to be “statistically deployed at the polling stations.” The provincial government has informed the ECP that it had written to the Ministry of Interior about the need for security, according to Dawn.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar criticised the Sindh government for allegedly trying to delay local bodies polls in the provincial capital. Umar tweeted, “Yet another attempt by Sindh govt to delay Karachi elections! This imported govt has turned Pakistan into a banana republic. At the rate they are going, we will soon be the biggest exporter of bananas in the world!” (ANI)

This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.

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