KP yet to decide date to hold LB polls


The Supreme Court on Wednesday showed displeasure that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has not yet decided a date to hold the local body (LB) polls.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry, was hearing a case regarding LB elections.
The administrations of Punjab and Balochistan said they had made preparations for the polls and were ready to hold the elections by December 7.
Whereas, the Sindh government said it was ready to hold the elections on November 27.
On the contrary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Advocate General Abdul Lateef Yousufzai informed the court that KP was still debating over an election date.
On Monday, Yousufzai had told the court that an amended law had been tabled in the KP Assembly with regard to the LB polls and would be adopted this week. He had said that delimitation had been delayed in the province because KP Law Minister Israrullah Gandapur, who was overseeing the entire process, was recently killed in a suicide attack. He had also said the delimitation has now been completed.
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Shah Khawar said a draft had been prepared by the federal government in relation to the municipal elections in Islamabad. He, however, said a date had not yet been decided.
Justice Chaudhry said all provinces were ready to hold the polls except KP and also emphasised that the court had expectations from the federal government over the holding of municipal elections in Islamabad.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the Select Committee on Local Government was held in the KP Assembly on Wednesday. The meeting was chaired by Local Government Minister Inayatullah Khan.
The members of the committee were lawmakers Jaffar Shah, Muhammad Ali Shah, Hussain Babak, Amina Sardar, Gohar Ali Shah and Akbar Hayat. While discussing the Local Government Bill 2013, they said that an effective local government system through consultation should be established. They also informed the meeting about the demarcation of union councils, village councils and remote areas.
Inayatullah Khan said all powers were being devolved to grassroots so that the people could get basic facilities like education, health and other civic amenities at their doorsteps. The members also paid rich tributes to slain law minister Israrullah Gandapur. They expressed their sympathies with the aggrieved family and prayed for the eternal peace of the deceased.