Redrawing constituencies: Altaf wants judges to apologise for order

Demands suo motu notice of court bench which ordered ECP to delimit constituencies.


Saad Hasan December 02, 2012

KARACHI: The heat had been building up ever since the Supreme Court (SC) called for redrawing electoral constituencies in Karachi, in a bid to halt targeted killings. On Sunday, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lashed out with all its fury, demanding that judges apologise for “insulting the people of Karachi”.

“It is not the judges’ job to make decisions on electoral constituencies,” said MQM chief Altaf Hussain, addressing a large gathering in the economic capital via telephone. “The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is responsible for that.”

The MQM chief asked Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take suo motu notice of the special SC bench which made “irresponsible” remarks on delimiting constituencies while hearing a case on the deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi.

He claimed MQM’s enemies were using the apex court to wipe out his party.  “This order is against democracy. Only people have the right to decide which party holds majority.”

Redrawing constituencies will not improve law and order but rather worsen it, said Altaf, adding that a similar order should have been passed for other parts of the country.

Altaf Hussain

“Why don’t the judges redraw the constituencies of feudal lords, which have been demarcated according to their  wishes and been under their rule for generations?” asked the MQM chief. “The judges have violated Article 25B of the Constitution which says all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law … the MQM will not let anyone infringe upon the democratic rights of the people,” he added. Altaf said that new constituencies cannot be made in any case before completion of the census.

The Delimitation Act of 1974 says a census has to be conducted first. The SC order even violated that law,” he said, adding “no judge has the right to order ECP to stop a party from maintaining a ‘monopoly’. It is the right of the people to give their mandate to a party.”

Other party leaders said that the MQM believes it is being cornered to make way for other political forces in its stronghold of Karachi. “For us, this order is just a manifestation of some greater plan and we will resist it,” said a leader on the sidelines of the gathering.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2012.

COMMENTS (24)

Pakistan | 8 years ago | Reply

@Karachities: It is the only way people of Pakistan vote in their constituencies. Various examples are found in rural areas of punjaab and lahore is always been a stronghold of PMLN due to ethnic powers. Peshawar has always been for ANP my friend. Ure still too naive to argue. Do u not live in Pakistan? It's an ethnic divide since it was made.

Pakistan | 8 years ago | Reply People like talking non sense and degrade themselves with little help of their stupidity. The sovereignty of Pakistan lies in Democracy. After accepting this fact democracy works in compliance with the country's constitution. If someone is having issues to what Altaf Hussain said should go to court! On the other it will be near to impossible to reshape constituencies with this city unless the population wants it to be. We are very sorry for the supporters and well wishers of Army and establishment who have created diverted mindsets among naive people therefore manipulating them for their own benefit. It's a shame! Karachi remains for Karachiites, its their generous attitude and brought in cultural attributes which have made Karachi an economic Hub of the country. The people who have contributed for this city are the reason of the birth of Pakistan. Please correct the ambiguity Pakistan is not a gift for feudal tribesmen which is awarded by some corrupt east India company's governor for large scale betrayal as it used to be in the pre 1947 era. It's a sovereign state. Learn to live with this truth
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