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MQM chief Altaf Hussain. – File photo

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain Friday demanded to postpone the May 11 polls by 15 to 30 days so that an environment suitable for holding general elections can be created in the country, DawnNews reported.

Speaking to party leaders and supporters over telephone from London, he severely criticised the returning officers of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for asking ‘personal’ questions to the electoral candidates during scrutiny of their nomination papers.

“They (returning officers) are in violation of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution themselves by asking insulting questions to the candidates,” said Hussain, adding that the public has reservations regarding the conduct of ROs.

The MQM chief said that Pakistan was passing through the most critical phase in the history and the whole world was eyeing the coming general elections.

He said that neither could the nomination papers be rejected under the Article 62 and 63, nor could the patriotism of any citizen be questioned.

Commenting on the prevailing law and order situation, Hussain said that current environment was not suitable for holding elections and that questions have been raised on the schedule of the polls.

“Elections, therefore, should be postponed for 15 to 30 days…..and a conducive environment should be created by eradicating extremism and militancy from the society,” he added.

Criticising the ECP’s decision of rejecting nomination papers of renowned columnist and PML-N leader Ayaz Amir for allegedly writing against the ideology of Pakistan, Altaf Hussain urged the Supreme Court and the Parliament to define the ideology in order to resolve the matter once and for all.

The MQM chief also reiterated his reservations over the delimitation of constituencies only in Karachi.

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