KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami on Monday filed a petition in the Sindh High Court seeking directives for the Election Commission of Pakistan to ensure that members of the City Council be allowed to access polling places and cast votes on their free will for upcoming mayoral election.
JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman petitioned the SHC stating that his party had nominated him as its candidate to contest the June 15 election of the mayor of Karachi.
He alleged that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party in the local government elections had adopted all malpractices of rigging which were not only limited to polling of bogus votes and causing harassment at polling stations, but also tempering the results by pressuring the presiding and returning officers and such cases were pending before the ECP, Islamabad High Court and election tribunals.
He submitted that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had announced its unconditional support to the petitioner in the election of Karachi mayor.
However, he alleged that the PPP was using government machinery to capture the office of the city mayor as it had started pressurising the City Council members especially those elected on PTI tickets since police were raiding their houses, abducting them and lodging false cases against them.
The petitioner stated that the ECP and provincial election commissioner were not taking any action despite the fact that they were bound to arrange fair and free election.
He sought directive for them to arrange free polls of mayor/deputy mayor and chairmen/vice chairmen by providing access to the council’s members to participate in the polling and cast the votes as per their freewill and decision of their parties.
The petitioner further submitted that the ECP may also be directed to immediately arrange administration of oath to those elected members of the councils who were under arrest or went into hiding.
Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2023