Five more days sought to verify electoral rolls: EC
KARACHI, Feb 11: The Sindh election commission on Monday sought five more days to complete the verification of electoral rolls in the city on the last day of the stipulated time given by the federal body to complete the job, pleading that a shaky law and order situation in the metropolis deprived its staff of an opportunity to visit some residential areas on certain days.
A senior official said the formal request had been made with the hope that the provincial body would be allowed more days so it could meet the desired results under the Supreme Court orders.
“We have almost done our job,” said Sindh election commissioner Mehboob Anwar. “I should say that hardly five per cent of the total job is left. It’s because of law and order situation on different days due to which our staff could not access a few residential areas in nearly seven days. We are confident about meeting the target within the next few days.”
He said the request for more time had been forwarded to the authorities concerned, which was expected to respond on Tuesday. However, he did not share the details of the progress made so far, citing that the staff was busy compiling lists and it was a little early to give any specific number of the verified votes.
The Sindh election commission had started the verification process of electoral rolls in Karachi on Jan 10 under the ‘security command’ of the army, which stated that more than 5,000 troops deployed for the purpose would provide ‘safe and conducive environment’ to the election commission staff and would not escort them from door to door.
However, when parties mainly in the opposition or those without having any representation in parliament protested against the absence of army troops in the verification process, the Election Commission of Pakistan agreed to deploy soldiers with each verification team.
Yet the parties were found dissatisfied on Sunday when the Jamaat-i-Islami-led opposition parties marched from the mausoleum of the Quaid-i-Azam to Tibet Centre against what they described as the non-implementation of the Supreme Court decision on voters’ list verification. The parties included the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Jamiat-i-Ulema Pakistan, Sunni Tehreek, Awami Muslim League and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazlur Rehman.
“The Sindh election commission still needs to verify more than half a million votes in different city districts,” said a source privy to the progress made by the commission. “If it’s allowed more time, nearly 11,000 staff members of the commission are capable of completing the job within a few days,” he added.