Opposition, ruling parties hail verdict on LG polls, but doubts remain.

KARACHI -- Keeping in view their own perspective and interpretations with different angles and thoughts, political stakeholders of urban Sindh, including opposing and ruling parties, on Friday welcomed the judgement of the Sindh High Court (SHC) regarding its directive to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold local government election in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions within 60 days.

The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) saw the order of the court as a testament to its plea to authorise only the ECP for fixing the date of the polls while the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) called it a loud and clear message for voting within two months and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) took it as a time given for fresh delimitation before the polls.

Administrator of Karachi and spokesman for the Sindh government Barrister Murtaza Wahab welcomed the SHC verdict and insisted on a few shortcomings for the provincial administration to ensure free and fair elections. He referred to shortage of police force due to 'duties in flood-affected areas' as one of the major reasons behind its plea to delay the polls.

'Ensuring a free and fair election is a key challenge amid thousands of sensitive and highly sensitive police stations which demand strong deployment of security officials,' he said in a statement.

While referring to the number of available forces deployed in flood-hit areas in Sindh and required number of policemen on the day of voting, he said the Sindh government would face a shortage of 17,000 personnel.

'But we welcome the SHC decision which has tasked the Election Commission with the job of fixing the date for the elections. Now it would be up to the Election Commission to decide on the basis of ground realities and facts,' he added.

Senior PTI leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi also hailed the verdict.

'It's a very positive and historic decision from the SHC and now it's up to the PPP government to comply with the court orders,' he said.

'The PPP knows it well that they can't claim any major victory if the PTI appears as its opponent.'

He said that the ruling party was running away from the local government elections out of fear of the defeat as it was making illogical excuses.

Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman also welcomed the high court's verdict and called it a very clear order from the court to the Election Commission for announcement of date within 15 days for holding...

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