ISLAMABAD: The implementation of the Supreme Court’s verdict regarding voters’ lists verification in Karachi has become a listless exercise so far, as the Pakistan Army is still not part of the process being conducted by the Election Commission staff, eyewitnesses in Karachi say.
Officials from different parts of Karachi confirmed on Tuesday that though the number of army officials and jawans deployed at different points in the city has increased but no one was accompanying the ECP teams which are visiting door-to-door for verification of already prepared voters’ lists.
A few days back ECP secretary Ishtiaq Ahmad had told that the commission had written to the ministry of defence to provide more security so that army men could accompany each and every ECP team visiting the homes for verification.
According to ECP sources, federal secretary ministry of defence visited the ECP Tuesday and held a meeting with three members of ECP. The defence secretary has now given an assurance that the ECP will be provided any number of army men required for completion of the process of verification.
The ECP sources also claim that within next two to three days, army men will be accompanying all ECP teams on ground in Karachi. However, this was not the case till Tuesday.
The process of delimitation of constituencies is not as lengthy and complicated as the long and complex process of voters lists verification, but under certain political pressures, there is no concrete development regarding initiation of process of delimitation so far.
The Supreme Court had first ordered constituency delimitation in October 2011 in Karachi law and order case and then again repeated the order in November 2012. Secretary ECP Ishtiaq Ahmad on Tuesday said that commission has sent the Supreme Court order to provincial election commission of Sindh and so far has not received any response in this regard.
Chief Election Commissioner Fakharuddin G Ebrahim was of the view that transparent elections in Karachi were not possible without implementing the apex court judgement. Fakhru Bhai, after consultation with all political forces of the country, told this scribe that all political parties, except one, want delimitation of constituencies and ECP will do it any way.
But later, under certain political pressure, he announced that there are difficulties in carrying out the delimitation. In his many media interactions, however, he never shared as to what actually were these problems or hurdles in the way of implementation of the apex court judgement regarding delimitation in Karachi.
There are a few politicians who quote the delimitation law on the media under which any delimitation can be carried out on the basis of a fresh census. However, it is a misplaced conception and apparently an attempt to be fool the general public as there is no order for any “fresh delimitation”.
The court orders, in fact, highlight the ‘wrongly and dishonestly carried out delimitation of constituencies in Karachi in 2001 on the basis of 1998 census’. The apex court order in fact asked for needed correction of the wrong delimitation, which benefited certain groups and this correction was obviously to be done on the basis of the 1998 census.
Many experts are saying that if CEC was unable to bear pressure on this issue, how he will bear much bigger pressures while conducting the mega exercise of general elections throughout the country.
The Supreme Court, besides ordering the corrections in the delimitation of constituencies, has also ordered altering the boundaries of ‘Police Stations’ and ‘Revenue Estates’ as these were also defined irregularly to support and benefit some groups on ethnic basis. According to the SC, this was one of the basic reasons for the continuing turf wars between different groups and killing of innocent people on a daily basis in Karachi.