LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has stayed the schedule for the first phase of the local government (LG) election in Punjab on a petition challenging the delimitation in Khushab district.

Tariq Iqbal, a former LG representative, filed the petition through Advocate Mobeenuddin Qazi challenging a notification issued by the election commission’s delimitation committee on March 12, 2022, deciding objections/representations against the preliminary list of village and neighbourhoods/preliminary delimitation for Khushab.

The counsel argued the delimitation committee failed to decide the strong and valid objections through a separate/independent order and instead erroneously and illegally rejected objections of the petitioner through a consolidated, evasive and non-speaking impugned order.

He said the delimitation was politically motivated to give undue advantage to the local candidate for chairman fielded by the local MNAs and MPAs and cause political damage and deprive the constituents of the area of electing local representatives of their own choice.

He said the notification of the delimitation itself exhibited substantial difference/variation in the population.

The ECP director legal appeared before the court and sought time to file a reply to the petition.

The petitioner’s counsel stated the schedule for the first phase of the LG poll had been issued, which also included Khushab district, and if the process was not stayed the petition would become infructuous.

Justice Jawad Hassan adjourned the hearing till April 25 and maintained the status quo in the matter till the next hearing.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2022

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