KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami on Saturday moved the Sindh High Court seeking contempt proceedings against the Sindh chief minister and two provincial ministers for reportedly obstructing and creating hurdles in the process of local government elections scheduled to be held on Sunday (today).
Party leaders Monem Zafar Khan and Saifuddin filed an application under the Contempt of Court Act and cited Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, ministers Nasir Hussain Shah and Sharjeel Memon as alleged contemnors.
The petitioners submitted that on Nov 18 while deciding one of two petitions filed by JI, the SHC had directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold LG polls in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions within two months and notify a polling date in 15 days.
Thereafter, they argued that the ECP had announced that the second phase of local government polls would be held on Jan 15, but the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, an ally of the coalition government at the Centre, was pressurising the Sindh government to use its powers legally or illegally for postponement of LG polls.
They further stated that on Jan 12, the provincial government had withdrawn the notifications about delimitation on the demand of the MQM-P, but on the following day the ECP had rejected the request of the PPP-led provincial government to postpone the LG polls for the fourth time.
The petitioners contended that the chief minister had chaired the so-called cabinet meeting in which it was decided to withdraw such notifications and under the direction of LG minister letters were sent
for postponement of elections while information minister had announced on media that the LG polls will not be held on Jan 15.
The petitioners further contended that apparently the provincial government and the alleged contemnors have bent upon to deprive the people of Karachi from electing their representatives despite the order of SHC.
They submitted that the alleged contemnors were well aware that the elections were being conducted on the directives of the SHC, but still trying to create hurdles in holding elections which was a clear violation of the court order.
They argued that the ECP was bound to hold elections within 120 days while the four-year tenure of the last elected local governments in Sindh had expired on Aug 30, 2020.
The petitioners further submitted that initially, the LG elections were scheduled to be held on July 24 last year in Karachi and Hyderabad division, but since then the ECP had postponed elections thrice on the request of the Sindh government.
Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2023
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