KARACH - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah announced on Sunday that now it was the responsibility of Election Commission of Pakistan to hold local body elections at the earliest as the provincial government was ready for the task and would provide full assistance to the ECP in this regard.

Chairing a meeting at the CM Secretariat to review the preparations to conduct local government elections and the ongoing process of delimitation of constituencies at union to district level, the chief minister said the Sindh government was ready to hold local body elections as early as possible, following the schedule of the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The chief minister said all arrangements to conduct the local body elections were being completed as per directive of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He said under Article 140-A of the Constitution, the provincial governments were responsible for making laws and determining delimitations for local government polls, adding Sindh was the first province that passed the Sindh Local Government Act-2013 and fulfilled all requirements for holding local government elections as per the apex court directive.

He said now it was the responsibility of Election Commission of Pakistan to conduct the LB elections at the earliest as the Sindh government was ready for the task and would provide full assistance to the Election Commission of Pakistan in this regard.

The meeting expressed its satisfaction over the arrangements made by the Sindh government for local body elections as per the directive of the apex court.

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah directed the officers of local government and revenue departments to complete the process of delimitation as per the commitment made in the court.

The chief minister also directed the local government secretary to make a pilot project at district level about the delimitation and local body elections and to ensure that there should be no difficulty in holding and casting vote after the process of delimitation.

He also directed the administrators of the local government to provide full assistance to the public in this regard.

Sindh Local Government Minister Owais Muzaffar, Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Chief Secretary Muhammad Aijaz Chaudhry, Local Government Secretary Ali Ahmed Lund, Advocate General Khalid Javaid Khan and other officers attended the meeting.

TWO LG SYSTEMS TO DIVIDE SINDH: MQM

Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Coordination Committee has demanded the Sindh government make Nawabshah and Mirpurkhas municipal corporations like Larkana while Qasimabad should remain a part of Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.

In a statement here on Sunday, the MQM Coordination Committee demanded extension in the time for filing objections to delimitations from seven days to 14 days.

The committee said, “The introduction of two local body systems in Sindh has divided the province on ethnic lines. The notification issued by the Sindh government regarding local body elections is in conflict with the bill passed by the provincial assembly. The government has given a date for filing objections to the new delimitation of constituencies, but the public has not been informed of it as the information about the delimitation process has not been published and screened in print and electronic media. The committee questioned how objections could be filed without studying contents of the case.

It also raised objections to the decision of declaring Qasimabad a separate municipal committee. It said that historically and geographically Qasimabad was a UC of Hyderabad, adding it was a union council of Hyderabad in 1987 and remained a part of the district in 2001 and 2005 local body elections.

The committee demanded the government adopt fair and constitutional way to carry out delimitation of new constituencies, municipal communities and town committees in Sindh. It said the government should not follow discriminatory policies and avoid dividing the people of the province.