KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan and provincial authorities on a petition of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan against delimitation process for local government constituencies and demarcation of towns in Karachi.

MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui along with other party leaders petitioned the SHC stating that the delimitation and town demarcations were made on ethnic and linguistic grounds and with mala fide considerations.

Citing the Sindh chief secretary, local government secretary and ECP as respondents, the petitioners challenged a notification issued on Dec 31, 2021 about demarcation of constituencies for the LG elections in the province.

A two-judge bench of SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Junaid Ghaffar issued notices to the ECP and other respondents with direction to file their reply till June 23.

They petitioners contended that they moved objections, but no action had been taken and notifications sent to the provincial election commission for the purpose of delimitation of union councils/committees without calling the petitioners or giving any reply to their objections.

While referring to a ruling of the apex court, they submitted that the demarcation and delimitation of any constituency shall not be based on linguistic basis but here entire towns were demarcated on linguistic basis.

They argued that the rural areas of Karachi had been amalgamated with urban areas without considering the acts that these areas were still underdeveloped and cannot be declared as urban areas.

They also questioned whether a political party, having majority in the provincial assembly, got any moral authority to change the political situation of the city in order to grab all financial, administrative and other affairs.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2022

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