Sindh govt again expresses inability to hold LG polls in Karachi, Hyderabad

The Sindh government on Tuesday once again told the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that it is unable to spare sufficient police personnel to ensure security for the upcoming second phase of the local government elections in the province for another three months.

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Due to be held in Karachi and Hyderabad and its surrounding areas, the second phase of local government elections have already been postponed thrice.

Writing to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday, Sindh Government Secretary’s Deputy Manzoor Ahmed Kanrani, he expressed the provincial government’s inability on holding the second phase of local body elections.

The letter, written in response to a letter sent by ECP seeking a report by November 1 on the Sindh government’s readiness to hold the elections, Kanrani referred to reports received from Additional IG Karachi and the Inspector General of Police, Sindh.

The IGP, the letter said, “communicated the shortage of police in Karachi Division.”

“More human resources will be required to conduct the elections,” the IGP said, explaining that per the scale of deployment, they would need to deploy at least eight officers around ‘Most Sensitive’ polling stations and four for each polling station declared as ‘sensitive’.

“Further, police from other districts is still not available due to flood duties for at least three months,” the IGP said.

Moreover, the IGP said that on the request of the federal interior ministry, around 5,000 police officers from Sindh have been put at the disposal of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) police for “controlling law and order in Islamabad.”

Further, the IGP said that its personnel are also engaged in providing security for the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive for children between 5-11 years.

Additionally, Karachi police have also been engaged in the upcoming 11th International Defense Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS-2022) where a number of national and international delegations are expected to participate in the event.

“These constraints, as communicated by Home Department, based on detailed reports of police, will not be helpful in conduct of LG elections in a smooth, transparent and peaceful manner,” concluded Kanrani’s letter.

The letter had been written in response to a letter sent by the ECP to the the Sindh government pertaining to the conduct of the second phase of LG polls in the province.

The ECP said that it “intends to hold local bodies elections in Karachi and Hyderabad Division as soon as possible to fulfill its constitutional duty.”

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