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ECP seeks suggestions on blueprint for delimitation

November 29, 2012

KARACHI, Nov 29: The Election Commission of Pakistan has worked out a blueprint to carry out delimitation work in Karachi keeping in view the recent apex court directive, as everyone is keen to see law and order so that different communities in the city live in peace and harmony.

This was stated by ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ali Khan while responding to questions of journalists after attending an over-two-hour meeting in the new secretariat building on Thursday.

Sindh Chief Secretary Raja Mohammad Abbas, Karachi Commissioner Hashim Raza Zaidi, deputy commissioners of all five districts and officials of the election commission, including Sindh Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch, were attended the meeting.

The ECP secretary said the meeting of Sindh government officials and the election commission was held in line with the directive of the apex court.

On Friday, he said, he would have another meeting with all other stakeholders before finalising his report to be submitted in court.

He said the election commission was briefed by the deputy commissioners about obstacles they would face in holding free, fair and transparent elections if they were not given powers of a judicial magistrate.

He said the provincial government had assured full support to the measures necessary to be taken by the election commission to improve the situation in Karachi.

He said the apex court in its verdict had mentioned about altering boundaries of administrative units such as police stations, revenue estates etc so that different communities could live together with harmony.

The Sindh government was of the point of view that there was no need to change the boundaries of police stations and that delimitation was the responsibility of the election commission and not of the government, he said.

He added that the EC had done its homework and would move ahead for delimitation of constituencies after seeking input from all the stakeholders.

In reply to a question, he said that for delimitation, census was necessary. Had there been census, delimitation of constituencies would have been done throughout the country but at present the apex court had asked to work out delimitation in Karachi, keeping in view its specific circumstances, the secretary said.

However, he said, the election commission would ensure that in the process of delimitation of different constituencies no injustice was done.

Later Provincial Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch told Dawn that political parties and other stakeholders were invited on Friday to suggest proposals for delimitation of different constituencies. Each party would have half an hour to explain their point of view on the suggestions which would be received in writing for consideration, he added.

Mr Baloch said those who could not get an opportunity to explain they could send their proposals in writing to the commission where all the suggestions would be given due consideration before finalising its draft.

Before submission of the final report to the apex court, the commission would publish the draft inviting objections as required under its rule of delimitation of constituencies, the Sindh election commissioner said.