Monday, October 03, 2022
KARACHI: The Sindh government Monday requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to once again postpone the local body polls, citing inadequate police resources to maintain the law and order situation in the province.
If the election commission decides to put off the polls, this will be the third time that the elections are postponed.
The second phase of the local body polls was originally scheduled to take place in July, but unprecedented rains and floods — that killed hundreds — hampered the commission's plans to hold the election.
In the letter to the ECP, the Sindh government said that the province's inspector-general provided a summary of police personnel deployed, citing a shortage of men for the election.
"The inspector-general of police has provided a summary of deployment along with shortfall details informing that for the said elections, the police force will have to be arranged from District and Interior Sindh along with auxiliaries to meet the shortfall," the letter mentioned.
"However, due to recent disastrous floods [these human resources are] engaged in flood relief operations and the maintenance of law and order situation due to damaged infrastructure and highways," it added.
In view of the shortage of manpower due to flood relief operations and enhanced patrolling in the affected portion of roads, the Sindh Police has expressed inability for the required assistance during the local boy polls in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, the letter said.
Mentioning that the police has asked for a postponement of three months, the Sindh government urged the election commission to coordinate with relevant authorities.
The IGP's office, in the letter to the Sindh government, had mentioned that 39,293 police officers are required on the polling day and currently, given the situation, the shortfall was at 16,786.
Earlier, Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah hinted that local government elections will not be held in Sindh for the next few months.
Speaking during Geo News' programme "Capital Talk", CM Murad said the provincial government has only managed to send aid to 25% of the flood victims, while deaths continue to be recorded. He also shared that Sindh's infrastructure has been destroyed.
Sindh's chief minister clearly stated that no one can even consider conducting elections in this situation.
The ECP had announced that the local body elections in the districts of the Karachi Division will be held on October 23.
The elections were supposed to take place on August 28, however, they were postponed due to the heavy flooding triggered by monsoon rains in the port city and other cities in Sindh.