KARACHI - As pressure mounts by the apex judiciary to implement the Article 140-A of the Constitution, the Sindh government has reiterated its stance to hold local government elections on November 27, 2013.

Though, the Sindh government is ready to go in elections of third tier of the government as legal formalities, necessary arrangements and schedule of the polls have unveiled by the Election Commission of Pakistan, official sources told The Nation on Monday. Ahead of the next hearing in the Supreme Court, the Election Commission has convened a meeting on Tuesday (today) in Islamabad to get opinion of the provinces and review preparations for the local bodies’ polls.  In this regard, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah chaired a high level meeting at the CM House on Monday, which reviewed the preparations and delimitations of union councils and tehsils/municipals for local government elections in the province. 

Senior Education Minister and PPP leader, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Local Government Minister Owais Muzafar, Law Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro, Chief Secretary Aijaz Choudhry, secretaries of law and local government department attended the meeting.

When contacted, Sindh Law Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro and Sindh Chief Secretary Aijaz Chaudhry told The Nation that provincial government is ready to conduct local government polls on November 27 this year and the same date is submitted in the Supreme Court. He said the meeting discussed the Sindh government’s case for today’s (Tuesday) meeting. “The Local Government Law 2013 and election rules have already been formulated. The delimitation process of the union/tehsils/municipals has been completed. The hearing on objections and appeals against changes in any constituency was underway at the commissioners’ level,” he said.

The Sindh government has not made any change in the schedule to extend the date for local government elections as ball is now in the court of Election Commission of Pakistan in this regard.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties in Sindh have already expressed reservations over the delimitation process underway through Deputy Commissioners and other districts’ bureaucracy in the province. They confidently stated they are ready to go in the process of the LG elections. Advisor to Prime Minister and general secretary of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh while talking to The Nation said the PPP government had planned massive rigging in the LG elections but his party will contest the polls despite all conspiracies. He opined that Sindh government is liable to implement the orders of the Supreme Court to hold the local bodies’ election as opposition parties will jointly resist the alleged rigging plan of the govt.

He said PML-F chief Pir Pagara had also instructed the party organisations to gear up the preparations for the LB polls as tickets would be allotted to the workers at unions and upper level.

Though, the Sindh government has passed a local government law to hold local bodies’ elections but according to political analysts, the scenario is showing a different picture like delay in holding the elections which is not even possible till December 2013.