Asma Gul

PESHAWAR: The opposition parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa say the stubborn attitude of the government is the main cause behind delay in local government elections.

Parliamentary leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) in KP Assembly Sardar Hussain Babak said while talking to TNN that the KP government is running away from local government elections despite completion of delimitation of constituencies and voter lists by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). He said the polls must be held on time.

“The KP government has passed Epidemic Control and Emergency Relief Act 2020 in the KP Assembly according to which local government elections cannot be held for the next two years,” he said.

The ANP leader said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in KP is finding excuses to run away from fulfilling a constitutional obligation.

Parliamentary Leader of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Inayatullah Khan said the term of the previous local government expired in August 2019, but the government is employing delaying tactics in holding fresh polls on the pretext of coronavirus.

Inayatullah said the government is not sincere in transferring powers to grassroots level, while the provincial ministers are also not willing to share their powers with public. He said the local government elections were among the main election agendas of the PTI, but it failed to act practically on its own principles.

The JI leader said the provincial government by passing the Act has delayed the local bodies elections by two years, and after that the preparations for general elections will start, which means that the present government doesn’t want to hold these polls during its tenure.

Inayatullah said that according to Local Government Act, elections must be held within 90 days of expiry of term of representatives. He said local government elections are due since December 2019, but the government has other priorities.

Syed Zahir Shah Advocate, former opposition leader of City District Government Peshawar, said difficulties are faced by citizens in getting CNICs, Nikah registration, Form-B, domicile certificates and other necessary documents. He said the rulers fearing defeat are not holding local government elections. He appealed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan to order the KP government to arrange local bodies polls immediately.

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