ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI - The Islamabad High Court Thursday turned down 23 petitions against delimitation of constituencies from different districts all over Pakistan while it nullified the delimitations of district Kharan.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of these petitions and maintained the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s notification about delimitations while rejecting these 23 petitions.

The IHC bench allowed only one petition to the extent of District Kharan in Balochistan as the same IHC bench had earlier set aside the delimitation of this district and this was one another petition from the same district.

The bench reserved its order in the petition challenging delimitation of district Abbottabad.

During the hearing, Justice Aamer remarked that the court would not allow any delay in the general elections. It directed all the petitioners to appear before the ECP on June 4.

All the 23 petitions which were dismissed were challenging the delimitations of 10 constituencies of districts Bhakkar, Batgram, Karachi, Islamabad, Leyyah, Mandi Bahauddin, Mirpur Khas and Sargodha.

The court rejected the petitions after hearing arguments of the petitioners and the ECP as well. The same IHC bench would now hear petitions challenging the delimitation of eight constituencies today (Friday).

This bench had set aside the delimitation of six constituencies of districts Bahawalpur, Kharan, Ghotki, Sheikhupura, Haripur and Kasur as null and void on May 30 and send these cases back to the ECP for rehearing in the matters while the IHC bench had upheld the ECP’s delimitation decision regarding Chiniot, Khanewal, Gujranwala, Umerkot, Sialkot, Jacobabad, Rahimyar Khan, Chakwal, Bannu, Kurrum Agency, Swabi, Mansehra and Rajanpur districts and rejected petitions against these.

One day before it, the IHC bench had nullified the delimitations of four districts constituencies including Toba Tek Singh, Lower Dir, Jhang and Jhelum and remanded back these cases to ECP for re-adjudication.

Many of the political parties, including the three major, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan People’s Party through 108 petitions had challenged the new delimitation.

The petitioners adopted before the court that the poll-supervisory body has done delimitation on political grounds and these should be set aside as standard procedure was not followed in the delimitation of the constituencies.

Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench on Thursday nullified the new delimitation of Provincial Assembly Constituency (PP-4) Pindigheb. The apex court also ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to carry out the exercise afresh.

LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Waqas Rauf Mirza took up the writ petition filed by former provincial minister Col (Retd) Malik Muhammad Anwar Khan and cancelled the delimitation of PP-4 Pindigheb.

The petitioner pleaded before the court to direct the ECP to cancel the new delimitation of PP-4 and maintain the Tehsil Unit of Pindigheb. While accepting the petition, LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Waqas Rauf Mirza declared delimitation of PP-4 null and void and directed the ECP to repeat the exercise.

Talking to media men, former provincial minister Col (Retd) Malik Muhammad Anwar Khan hailed the court verdict and said the court would soon lay down its detail decision in this regard. He said he would foil all the attempts of his opponents to usurp the rights of residents of Tehsil Pindigheb.

Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party has nominated its three candidates for contesting upcoming general elections from Gujar Khan. 

The three proposed candidates were former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, his son Raja Khuram Pervaiz and Chaudhry Sarfraz.

According to sources, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was awarded party ticket to face his opponents in the National Assembly Constituency NA-58 Gujar Khan while Raja Khuram Pervaiz and Chaudhry Sarfraz will be fielded in Provincial Assembly Constituencies PP-8 and PP-9 repetitively. Both candidates have also been given party tickets by the top leadership of PPP. 

Meanwhile, the other political parties, including PML-N, have also announced their proposed candidates for contesting upcoming general elections from Gujar Khan. Raja Javed Ikhlas, Chaudhry Muhammad Riaz and Abdul Hameed Advocate might be the proposed ticket holders of N League while Javed Azeem, Javed Kausar and Chaudhry Sajid are being considered the strangest candidates of PTI. Similarly, Jamat-e-Islami may give the task to Abid Hussain and Raja Muhammad Jawad to thrash their political parties’ candidates in elections.