Pakistan News

SHC seeks evidence PTI’s three UC chairmen-elect detained under MPO

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday directed the counsel for Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) to produce documents about alleged detention of three UC chairmen of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) by provincial authorities under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance.

A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh and Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed also issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Sindh chief secretary, inspector general of police (IGP) and other respondents with directions to file comments till June 9.

JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman petitioned the SHC, seeking directives for respondents to hold free and fair polls of mayor/deputy mayor of Karachi and provide access to the City Council’s members to participate in the polling, scheduled to be held on June 15.

The SHC also put the advocate general on notice for the next hearing.

Notices issued on JI’s plea seeking free access to City Council members to participate in June 15 mayoral poll

The bench in its order said, “Meanwhile, advocates for the petitioner shall place on record copies of the orders, if any, issued by Home Department, Government of Sindh, under Section 3(1) of the Sindh Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, 1960, whereby, as alleged in the petition, Umar Daraz, Syed Amjad Hussain and Muhammad Mustafa, who have been elected as chairmen of different Union Committees, have been detained in different jails”.

The JI chief in the petition submitted that his party had nominated him its candidate to contest the June 15 election of the Karachi mayor.

The petitioner further submitted that the PTI had announced its unconditional support to the petitioner in the election of Karachi mayor but, he alleged, the PPP was using government machinery to capture the office of the city mayor as it had started pressurising the City Council members especially those elected on PTI tickets since police were raiding their houses, abducting them and lodging false cases against them.

He also stated that the PTI chairmen-elect Firdous Shamim Naqvi from UC-2 Jamshed Town; Umar Daraz UC-10 North Nazimabad; Syed Amjad Hussain UC-5 Korangi Town; and Mohammad Mustafa from UC-I Mominabad Town had been detained under the MPO and kept at different prisons of Sindh.

The petitioner maintained that the ECP and provincial election commissioner were not taking any action despite the fact that they were bound to hold a fair and free election.

He sought directives for them to arrange free and fair polls of mayor/deputy mayor and chairmen/vice chairmen by providing access to the council’s members to participate in the polling and cast votes as per their free will and the decision of their parties.

The petitioner further submitted that the ECP may also be directed to immediately arrange administration of oath to those elected members of the councils who were under arrest or went into hiding.

Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2023

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