No aerial firing, rallies or banners: ECP issues warning ahead of Karachi LG polls

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday imposed a ban on aerial firing and display of arms during local government elections in Karachi whilst warning candidates of all political parties, members and supporters of strict action in the event of violation of their orders.

Taking notice of complaints of aerial firing and display of weapons during campaigning for local bodies elections in Karachi, the election commissioner for Karachi West District warned candidates and political parties.

The new restrictions were notified in a letter sent by a district monitoring officer to the District West commissioner. The restrictions include:

  • Placing banners and flags on state buildings and poles are prohibited
  • No aerial firing should take place
  • All types of vehicle rallies have been banned

Oversized election banners and panaflexes have already been taken down in District West, while the display of weapons has been completely banned in the district as well.

Moreover, the ECP instructed that office bearers should refrain from attending public gatherings and rallies, while permission from the district administration will be required for corner meetings.

Those who violate these restrictions will be dealt with strictly.

Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has announced staging a massive protest outside Sindh Chief Minister House on January 5 over fears of further delays in local bodies elections in the city.

JI Hafiz Naeemur Rehman alleged that Sindh government and Muttahida Qaumi Movement -Pakistan (MQM-P) were hatching a conspiracy to escape elections.

Hafiz Naeem slammed the PPP and MQM-P for hatching a conspiracy against holding local government polls in the city, adding that whenever the megalopolis headed towards polls, the two parties came together to play a spoiler.

He said that the Sindh government and MQM fear losing against JI and hence are dodging elections.

Taking strong exception to any further delay in polls, he called for the electoral exercise to go ahead as per plan in the megacity on January 15.

The LG polls in Karachi will be held on January 15.

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