KARACHI: Welcoming the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision of holding local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions on Sunday [today], the opposition parties asked law enforcement agencies and ECP to ensure free and fair polling.

They expressed fear that ‘moves’ were still being made to pressurise the ECP and delay the process for political ‘vested interests’.

Addressing a press conference at party headquarters Idara Noor-i-Haq, Jamaat-i-Islami Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman demanded proactive approach of the law-enforcement agencies to ensure security.

“Despite all pressures to further delay the local government elections, the ECP so far has managed to counter the moves through legal ways,” he said.

“We appreciate the ECP’s role, but we have to stay vigilant as the anti-Karachi force can strike anytime,” he warned.

The PTI Karachi president, Bilal Ghaffar, in a letter to the ECP Sindh demanded free and fair LG elections and warned that any move to delay the process would attract strong reaction from the people.

In a statement, PTI Karachi president Khurram Sher Zaman said: “Everyone knows that MQM doesn’t represent Karachi and it cannot win any seat under free and fair election.

“The PTI will wipe out all these political parties in the election.”

The chairman of Mohajir Qaumi Movement Pakistan, better known as MQM-Haqiqi, also announced that they would contest the polls despite having ‘serious reservations’.

He accused the PPP government of ‘creating a mess’ and deliberately making the electoral process disputed.

“I wonder what stopped the PPP government to implement all demands of the MQM during past six months when they both became partners in the coalition government at the Centre,” said MQM chief Afaq Ahmed while addressing a press conference at his residence.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2023

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