Thursday Oct 13, 2022
KARACHI: The Sindh government Thursday refused to provide security personnel for the October 23 local body polls in Karachi.
On October 4, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) turned down the Sindh government’s plea to differ the local body elections in the port city for three months.
Despite the refusal, the provincial government has again written a letter to ECP seeking a delay in polls for the next three months in the metropolis city.
The provincial government, however, excused itself from providing security resourcing, saying that a large number of the security personnel were engaged in the flood relief world.
“We are unable to provide the required security resources for the October 23 elections as a large number of police officials are busy helping the flood victims,” said the Sindh government
The provincial government, however, agreed to provide security if the local body polls are held in two phases in the metropolis.
“If the situation returns to normal in three months, security resources will be available for the local body election,” the provincial government added.
A day earlier, Sindh Labour and Human Resources Minister Saeed Ghani suggested that the local government elections be held in Karachi in two phases, given the limited resources available at the disposal of the provincial government to ensure holding the polls in a smooth and peaceful manner.
Addressing a news conference at the provincial assembly, Ghani maintained that the final decision in this regard rests with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
However, Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman opposed the suggestion to hold phase-wise local government elections in the city, and demanded that the ECP ensure free and fair elections across the metropolis on October 23.
Rehman demanded that the ECP deploy the Pakistan Army and Rangers to ensure transparency and smooth sailing of affairs and maintain law and order on the day of the election.
He also criticised PPP leader and minister Saeed Ghani for his remarks in which he allegedly held the people of Karachi responsible for the city’s civic and infrastructure issues.
Rehman said Ghani is “trying to shift responsibility from the government’s corruption and incapability to Karachiites”.
He asked Ghani if he believes Karachiites are responsible for skyrocketing street crime, power load-shedding, tanker mafia, acute water shortage, sewerage issues, broken roads and every aspect under the ambit of the government.
He said that after the Karachi police chief, Ghani has accused Karachiites of exaggerating the city’s issues. In fact, he added, this mindset rooted in feudalism wants to gradually capture Karachi and is trying to extend its influence.