CEC has seven days to announce date for LG polls: JI

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Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman has given a seven-day ultimatum to the chief election commissioner (CEC) to announce a date for holding local government elections in the city, failing which, he warned, the party will hold citywide protests.

The JI leader made this announcement at a press conference at Idara Noor-e-Haq. He said his party will hold demonstrations and sit-ins across the city, pointing out the options of holding a sit-in outside the provincial assembly and calling for strikes.

He demanded the CEC to exercise his constitutional right to discharge his duties or resign. He said the CEC needs to summon the army, Rangers and FC immediately under Article 220 of the constitution to hold the polls instead of wasting time writing letters to Sindh’s government and election commission.

Rehman said that the conduct of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government in Sindh and that of the Election Commission of Pakistan shows that both are hand in glove with each other for delaying the LG elections.

Unfortunately, all the so-called political parties have hatched a front against the local bodies’ set-up for making political and monetary gains, claimed the JI leader. Referring to an earlier statement of PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Rehman said the party chairman is unable to deploy police officials in Karachi’s Nazimabad area for the LG polls, but the same chairman ordered sending 6,000 policemen to Islamabad to handle the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s long march.

He said the PPP government in Sindh has done nothing for the city during the past 15 years except fanning ethnic divide and language-based hatred, and making fake appointments. He asked Asif Ali Zardari and the PPP leadership how many mega projects have been completed in the city during the past one and a half decades.

The JI leader said the Orange Line bus project consumed hefty funds but was unable to serve significantly, while the Green Line project was yet to be completed because it has hit a snag at Numaish.

In this backdrop, the government has initiated the Red Line project on University Road, while the fate of the Green Line project is still in limbo, he pointed out. He said that the same goes for the red buses project, as the government has spent tens of millions of rupees on advertisement campaigns in connection with the project but its contribution on the ground is minimal.

He added that millions of commuters in the metropolitan city have no other option but to continue to suffer in old buses as well as rickshaws. Talking about the law and order situation in the city, he quoted a survey as claiming that 69 per cent of the survey participants had witnessed street crimes, while 23 per cent of the participants themselves were victims of street crimes.

He suggested that 80 per cent of the recruitment in the Karachi police should be ensured on merit from within the city, no matter which ethnicity they belong to, but they should be residents of the metropolis.

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