ECP to begin delimiting Karachi’s constituencies, voters’ verification


In the light of the Supreme Court’s orders, the Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday announced delimiting constituencies and starting door-to-door verification of voters’ lists in Karachi, with the help of the army.
The ECP also decided to deploy the army personnel inside and outside polling stations in Karachi. Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the commission, ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan said, “The army will be deployed inside and outside polling stations during the next general elections. The ECP has made a decision to deploy the army at all polling stations in Karachi and FATA, while it will also be deployed at polling stations in sensitive areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.” “The ECP has already written letters to the defence secretary and Corps Headquarters (Karachi) for security at 80,000 polling stations in the city on the election day and the provincial election commission will remain in constant contact with them on the subject,” Khan said.
He said door-to-door verification of voters in Karachi would start from December 17 which will take about a month. Then NADRA would verify the lists and the entire process would be completed within 65 days, he added. He said there were 8.6 million voters in Karachi.
Talking about complaints of rigging during by-elections in Punjab and Sindh, the ECP secretary said the commission received general complaints but none under Section 103-AA of the Peoples Representatives Act.
He said the impression that the ECP had done nothing to bring to book persons involved in display of arms and firing in the by-elections was wrong. “We have written to the provincial governments and FIRs have been registered against the culprits and most of them have been arrested”, he added.
Khan said the prime minister visited the ECP’s head office to consult matters related to possible time of next elections but no specific date was discussed. “The present assemblies will get dissolved on March 16, 2013 but if the government dissolves the National Assembly before that time, ECP will have 90 days for the next general elections,” he said.
Earlier, in the ECP meeting, chaired by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, and attended by ECP members and all four provincial election commissioners, the commission directed Sindh Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch to submit a proposal of delimitation of Karachi’s constituencies. He was given 15 days to carry out the job. A source in the ECP said after receiving the Sindh CEC’s proposal, the commission would hold detail deliberations on it.