MQM, GDA, PMLN reject delimitations in Sindh

Arshad Yousafzai & Imtiaz Hussain & Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Dec 05, 2023

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI/LARKANA: The MQM, GDA, and PMLN have rejecteddelimitations in Sindh and accused the provincial election commission of siding with the PPP by gerrymandering several NA, provincial assembly constituencies in their favour.

A delegation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, led by Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, met the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and apprised him of their concerns regarding the final report of the delimitation of constituencies. The chief election commissioner, who had invited them for a meeting, assured them of looking into the matter as per the law.

Later, talking to media persons, Dr. Maqbool said that they were hopeful of getting justice from the Election Commission. However, he charged that they had serious reservations about the staff under the chief election commissioner. Replying to another question about the possibility of delay in the elections, as the Election Commission had summoned the Secretary of Finance over the non-release of funds, the MQM leader said that there should be a comprehensive statement on this so that the uncertainty in the nation must end. However, he maintained that the announcement of the date of general elections was a welcome development.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Farooq Sattar of MQM, explained how their party had been pushed to an electoral disadvantage during the delimitation exercise. He claimed significant changes have been made in certain constituencies to the advantage of PPP leaders in the elections of the Sindh Assembly and the National Assembly. He alleged adjustments in Qasimabad and Latifabad as well as in Karachi’s Baldia Town, Keamari Town, Korangi, Malir and Pak Colony and some other areas, besides districts Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Nawabshah, where it alleged urban parts were mixed with the rural population.

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) leaders accused Sindh’s election commissioner of favouring the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in delimitations. They claimed that the PPP influenced the recent constituency delimitations and that Sindh Election Commissioner Aijaz Anwar Chohan facilitated it. Expressing a lack of confidence in Chohan, they demanded his immediate removal as election commissioner.

Stressing that the responsibility of conducting transparent elections lies with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), they said that contrarily, several ECP officers have been favouring the PPP and that they might manipulate the upcoming elections’ results.

GDA General Secretary Dr Safdar Ali Abbasi said that since the caretaker government came into power, they have consistently advocated for transparent elections, but the interim administration seems to be the PPP’s B team.

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Sindh chapter PMLN leaders also expressed dissatisfaction over the recent constituency delimitations in the province and vowed to take the matter to courts.

Sindh PML-N President Bashir Memon, along with party leaders Kheeal Das Kohistani, Nehal Hashmi, Qadir Bakhsh Kalmati and others, demanded that the ECP take notice of the matter.

Talking to the media at Larkana Press Club, JUI-F Secretary General Sindh Allama Rashid Mahmood Soomro demanded the ouster of the provincial election commissioner. He said Sindh Election Commissioner Aijaz Anwar Chohan commissioner of Sindh is showing partiality toward the PPP and must be removed immediately. He said that JUI-F, GDA and PMLN have also raised their objections over the provincial election commissioner of Sindh.