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Nation cannot afford delay in polls: CJP Iftikhar

22 November, 2012

ISLAMABAD: During the hearing of the case regarding removal of errors in fresh electoral lists, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Chaudhry on Wednesday observed that the nation could not afford the delay in general elections.

The court was surprised to know that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) officials had been 'hijacked' by a political party (MQM) in Karachi, as more than 3 millions votes had been shifted from the city to permanent addresses, despite the fact that people are residing in the city for 10 to 15 years.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Chaudhry, accepting the concern of the Pakistan People's Party, the Jamaat-e-Islami and Tehreek-e-Insaf about the shifting of voters' names from Karachi to other provinces, directed the ECP to examine the matter and explain on Thursday (today) under what circumstances, the names of more than three million voters have been shifted from Karachi to other towns/cities of the country.

"There are credible complaints, the Election Commission, subject to all just exceptions may also examine the possibility of reversing the names of the voters back to Karachi where their names were previously recorded leaving an option with such voters to transfer of their votes if they so desired to any other town/city of the Pakistan, by making a request to the respective representative of Election Commission of Pakistan before the announcement of the schedule of elections." it added.

The court has sent the copy of this November 21 order to the ECP secretary so that he may depute a senior officer along with the deputy attorney general to appear in the court to satisfy it on Thursday (today), as to under what circumstances the names of about more than three million voters have been shifted from Karachi to other towns/cities of Pakistan.

Earlier, Khalid Anwar during the proceeding of Reko Diq also told the bench that three million voters in Karachi would be disenfranchised if they were not allowed to vote in Karachi only on this basis that the address in the CNIC is of the place of their origin.

At the beginning of the hearing, PTI counsel Hamid Khan told the bench that his party had conducted a survey in nine districts of the country for the verification of new electoral lists.

He contended that according to the credible information the ECP failed to touch 100 percent voters, while revising the voter lists, as per commitment of the secretary, the ECP made in the above said order and it could safely be said that the electoral staff approached only 10 percent voters.

End.

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