KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed the federal and provincial governments to file comments on two petitions filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamaat-i-Islami against postponement of the second phase of the local government elections in Sindh.

A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh and Justice Yusuf Ali Sayeed directed the federal and provincial law officers as well as counsel for other parties to come prepared on Nov 4 for arguments.

Both the parties had moved the SHC in August shortly after the Election Commission of Pakistan had postponed the local government polls for the second time which were scheduled to be held in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions on Aug 28.

At the outset of the hearing, the lawyers for petitioners informed the bench that the ECP had yet again postponed the elections in Karachi division scheduled for Oct 23.

They argued that around a dozen candidates had passed away and others lacked financial resources to run their election campaign as the ECP had deferred the local government polls twice.

They alleged that the ECP had been deliberately delaying elections at the behest of the Sindh government.

The law officer of the ECP placed a copy of the notification issued on Oct 18 to postpone the local government election for the third time.

It stated that the postponement was made on the request of the Sindh government, provincial election commissioner and law enforcement agencies till availability of adequate security and until further orders.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2022

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