MULTAN- The Punjab government today requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to postpone the upcoming by-election on Multan's NA-149 seat citing security reasons.

However, Punjab's election commission has opposed the request and said that the final decision in this regard lied with the Election Commission.

The Punjab government has adopted the stance that the law and order situation in the area was tense after the Qasim Bagh incident hence the polls on NA-149 be postponed for a few days. However, Punjab's election commission has opposed the request. In response to this request, the provincial election commission said there were no concrete reasons for them to delay the elections and all preparations are underway. The ECP is yet to respond with a final decision on the request.

By-polls on the vacant seat are scheduled to take place on Oct 16.

The Multan seat had fallen vacant following the resignation of former Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) President Javed Hashmi. National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had accepted Hashmi’s resignation from the seat with effect from Aug 18.

Hashmi had however announced that he would contest the by-polls as an independent candidate. Moreover, leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) had hinted at supporting Hashmi in the by-election after Hashmi held press conferences alleging that the PTI's sit-ins and protests in Islamabad were part of a ‘conspiracy’ against democracy.