SC rejects MQM-P's plea to stop second phase of Sindh LG polls

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) request to halt the second phase of the Sindh local government elections and requested the provincial government to submit its response.

The two-member bench under the chief justice’s leadership heard MQM’s petition in Islamabad today as the party’s lawyer Farogh Naseem requested for the federal government’s answer to be submitted on the matter.

“If the federal government wishes, it may submit a response,” remarked the CJP.

Read more Sindh LG polls postponed until Aug 28

The advocate general then requested the court to grant the Sindh government two weeks’ time to submit a written response, which was rejected by the SC.

Naseem argued that the LG polls “are to be held on August 27, if two weeks are granted [to the provincial government to submit its response] then the Sindh government will say the polls are too close”.

Subsequently, the court ordered the provincial government to submit its response by August 4 and adjourned the hearing until then.

It may be noted that the MQM-P had sought a restraining order from the top court against the second phase of the local elections in Sindh.

In June, the Sindh High Court had rejected pleas filed by major political parties, including the MQM-P to delay the local government elections.

The SHC, while rejecting the plea to halt elections, had directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold the polls in the province as per the schedule.

Former federal law minister Farogh Naseem, who is representing the MQM-P in court, had contended that the amendments made to the LG law by the Sindh government were against the Constitution and the decision of the SC.

Naseem told the court that MQM constituencies had been reduced to 80,000 and those of the PTI had been shown as 35,000.

Last week, the MQM-P had made it clear that it wants local government elections with the "correct" constituencies.

Addressing a press conference alongside MQM-P leaders Wasim Akhtar and Aminul Haq, Farogh Naseem had said that they have been contesting the issue of Karachi and Hyderabad constituencies for a long time.

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