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LG polls in Karachi, Hyderabad to be held per schedule on Jan 15: ECP

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  • 2nd phase of local govt polls in Sindh to be held per schedule.
  • MQM-P’s stance regarding dual electoral rolls rejected.
  • ECP directs authorities to ensure polling on January 15.

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Monday rejected the plea of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and ruled that the local bodies elections in Karachi and Hyderabad will be held as per schedule on January 15.

The MQM-P had challenged the decision of the ECP for the prospective use of two separate electoral rolls in the local government polls simultaneously.

A three-member bench of the electoral body, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, reserved the verdict on Friday. 

Jamat-e-Islami had also approached the Election Commission seeking the holding of polls according to the schedule,  postponed multiple times for one reason or another.

Announcing the verdict, the ECP directed the authorities to ensure that elections are held on time. 

During the last hearing, the chief election commissioner told the MQM-P lawyer that he has gone to various forums, however, the issue of electoral rolls was never raised before.

He told the lawyer to raise any other issue so that they can be clubbed.

The CEC further remarked that the lawyer is giving a wrong statement regarding the dual electoral rolls, rejecting his statement.

“You think you can get the elections postponed again? Your arguments are irrelevant so far,” he noted.

CEC Raja also stressed that the local government elections in Karachi will not be delayed, saying that it’s the Election Commission of Pakistan’s job to conduct the polls. 

Second phase of LG polls

The ECP had scheduled the second phase of local government polls in Sindh on July 24, 2022, but then it postponed them because of torrential rains and subsequent floods in the province.

The electoral body rescheduled the LG elections for August 28, but they were put off again for the same reason.

On October 18, the ECP rescheduled the elections for October 23, but the provincial government sought their postponement for three months. It said it had deployed police in the flooded areas due to which it was unable to provide the required level of security to polling stations.

After repeated delays, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Jamaat-e-Islami moved the Sindh High Court, which on November 15 instructed the ECP to announce the date for the LG elections within 15 days.

On November 22, the ECP announced January 15 as the new date.

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In Lahore, several unlawful constructions were dismantled

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In response to bylaw infractions, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) demolished a number of structures in Lahore.

An illicit workshop next to Hair Factory at Adda Plot on Raiwind Road was destroyed by the LDA crew.

Along Raiwind Road and in LDA-controlled areas close to Lahore Ring Road, a number of additional unlawful constructions were also removed.

In addition, a private school that had broken land use regulations was sealed.

Chief Town Planner II Azhar Ali led the operation with the assistance of the police, enforcement team, and heavy equipment.

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Pakistan

Bushra Bibi challenges the Nikah case’s verdict in court.

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According to specifics, Bushra Bibi’s attorney, Khalid Yousaf Chaudhry, entered a plea on her behalf, requesting that the trial court’s decision from February 3 be deemed invalid.

Salman Akram Raja, Salman Safdar, and other individuals will also be parties in this action, while Bushra Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka and the federal government have been named respondents in the plea.

According to the plea, the former first lady went to her mother’s house in August 2017 after divorcing in April.

Furthermore, the ruling is unlawful, immoral, and un-Islamic because the matter pertaining to Bushra Bibi and Khan’s nikah was outside the court’s jurisdiction.

In a case concerning their marriage during the latter’s Iddat era, a court in Islamabad earlier this year condemned former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi to seven years in prison apiece.

The decision on the lawsuit submitted by Bushra’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka in a temporary court at Adiala jail was announced by senior civil judge Qudratullah. The pair was also fined Rs 500,000 apiece by the court.

Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan’s marriage
In February 2018, the former prime minister married Bushra Bibi in Lahore.

Only the bride’s mother and other close relatives and friends were present for the ceremony. The sisters of the PTI founder, however, were not present.

Former SAPM Zulfi Bukhari and Awn Chaudhary, leaders of the Pakitan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), were present when Mufti Saeed conducted the nikah.

Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka had petitioned the court last year, arguing that the marriage was unlawful and in violation of Sharia law.

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Pakistan

Culprit running social media campaign against CJP and was arrested

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The person suspected of spearheading a social media campaign against Pakistan’s Chief Justice (CJP) has been taken into custody by law officials.

According to sources, Abdul Wasay, a resident of Rawalpindi, was arrested for planning a threatening campaign against Pakistan’s Chief Justice, Qazi Faez Isa. They said that Wasay had taken part in character assassination on social media sites and made direct threats as part of a harmful campaign against the CJP on X (formerly Twitter).

Law enforcement responded quickly to Wasay’s concerning acts, which resulted in his imprisonment. Currently, inquiries are being conducted to find additional participants in the campaign. The sources also suggest that law enforcement organisations are making a concerted effort to identify each participant.

Authorities have made it clear that, once they have identified the participants in the threatening campaign, they will all face severe legal consequences. The gravity of the issue emphasises how crucial it is to protect public servants’ safety and dignity as well as the rule of law.

Abdul Wasay’s arrest sends a strong message to the public that acting in a threatening or derogatory manner towards public persons is unacceptable. It emphasises how determined law enforcement is to protect the rule of law and bring anyone who attempt to compromise the credibility of the courts or any other branch of government accountable.

To combat defamatory social media campaigns that target government personnel and the electoral commission, the caretaker government said on Wednesday that a new joint investigative team (JIT) will be formed for in-depth inquiries.

The decision was made in the wake of mounting worries about the dissemination of false information and attempts to sway public opinion by using dishonest methods. Maintaining the integrity of the electoral process and making sure that elections are transparent and fair are commitments made by the caretaker administration.

A caretaker government spokesman addressed the issue, saying, “We cannot allow malicious actors to undermine the democratic process through deceitful means.”

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