The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Election Commission (EC) on Saturday assured the high court that elections for the two legislative assembly constituencies reserved for Kashmiri refugees settled in Karachi would be held on July 20.
The EC counsel presented a notification for the election schedule before the court for polling in LA-30 of Jammu and others-1 and LA-36 Kashmir valley-1 in Karachi.
In its decision which was earlier reserved on the writ petition filed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) against the postponement of elections in the two constituencies in Karachi, the full bench, headed by Chief Justice Mustafa Mughal and comprising Justice Muhammad Munir Choudhary and Justice Tabassam Aftab Alvi, directed the Election Commission not to extend the election beyond the scheduled date and to ensure that the elections take place on the notified date.
The full bench of the apex court also admitted the writ petition filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) against the polling scheduled for the legislative assembly’s electoral constituency LA-37, Kashmir Valley falling under Lahore and issued notices to the Election Commission.
The bench set July 6 as the next date of hearing and directed the election commission to file a reply on the issued date. Keeping in view the large number of bogus votes in the electoral lists, the PML-N, through its council Raja Sadaqat Ali challenged the election schedule in this constituency.
Deputy speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Mashood Ahmed, former senator and senior PML-N leader Malik Rafique Rajwan were also present during the court proceedings.
Meanwhile, the AJK Supreme Court on Monday reserved its decision on the writ petition filed against the entry of bogus votes in the electoral constituency of LA-41 Kashmir Valley-6 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
A Pakistan Peoples Party contestant from the constituency and former minister Abdul Majid Khan had challenged the electoral lists in the Supreme Court before the elections.
MQM hails AJK high court’s decision
MQM leaders and Haq Parast candidates Tahir Khokhar and Saleem Butt hailed the decision of the AJK High Court directing the Election Commission to conduct the elections for LA-30 Jammu-1and LA-36 Valley-1 on the petition filed by MQM.
They said the government postponed the elections when the MQM refused to withdraw from one of the seats. “The MQM was forced to turn to the court and we are happy that the court has ordered that the elections be held on July 20.”
They called upon the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the AJK High Court and human rights organisations to ensure free and fair elections on the scheduled date and hoped that the MQM would come out victorious in the elections.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2011.
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