ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) requested the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan to postpone holding local body (LB) elections in Punjab and Sindh by at least a month.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja was hearing the case.

During the hearing, the SC issued notice to Sindh Advocate General for not appearing before the court. The court said that there is no reason to file a case’s delay plea. The bench said that LB polls matter is a legal matter and people of both the provinces are waiting for elections since 2009.

The ECP said that available police and staffers are less in numbers due to floods. The commission requested the court to allow deferring of LB polls until October. Punjab Advocate General opposed the request and said that holding of elections in October would not be possible due to security concerns in the month of Muharram.

Justice Khawaja asked  if anyone could explain to him why LB polls were not held for past six years. He said that both the governments are in power since 2008.

“The authorities should offer their apologies to the people,” he added.

Justice Dost Muhammad said that the government did not conduct any study to avoid destruction through floods. He said that if the SC permits elections in October, the government would be facing some other problem when the time comes.

However, the ECP representative said that if the authorities are permitted to hold LB polls phase-wise then flood-hit areas would come last in the matter.

The court adjourned the hearing until August 12 and ordered ECP to file recommendations.