Punjab mulls legal options after increase in Pindi's union councils.

RAWALPINDI -- As the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) increased the number of union councils in Rawalpindi following new delimitations, the Punjab government took exception to this increase and vowed to use legal means to challenge the 'unilateral decision' of the election watchdog.

As per the list of preliminary delimitations, the number of UCs in the Rawalpindi Metropolitan Corporation (RMC) increased from 46 to 78 whereas the Rawalpindi district council's UCs increased from 34 to 70 - 12 urban and 58 rural.

The new delimitations have also changed the status of 24 rural UCs, including Morgah, Kotha Kalan, Shakrial, Khanna and others located along the Islamabad Expressway and Old Airport Road.

On the other hand, the district council in Murree - which was a tehsil of Rawalpindi until recently - will have 14 councils, including two urban UCs.

'Unilateral decision'

Punjab government spokesperson Fayyazul Hasan Chohan said the unilateral notification regarding the new delimitations by the Election Commission was rejected by the government. 'The Election Commission has tried to impose its decision without consulting stakeholders ... [which] is based on bad intention,' he said.

New delimitations increase RMC union councils from 46 to 78; PTI leader alleges ECP trying to carve out new UCs to favour present govt

He alleged that the ECP was taking 'such measures to benefit a particular party', claiming that 'such decisions are tantamount to depriving the people of their right to vote'.

'The Punjab government and the entire Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leadership will take legal action against this notification,' he said while referring to the new UCs.

PTI leader in Punjab Arif Abbasi told Dawn that the delimitation exercise had been conducted without consultations with the public.

He alleged that the Election Commission was trying to carve out new union councils to benefit the Pakistan Democratic Movement ruling in the Centre. He said that the objections would be submitted to Election Commission soon.

On the other hand, a senior ECP official said the schedule for LG polls had been...

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