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Sindh once again seeks postponement of LG polls citing inadequate police resources

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  • Sindh seeks to postpone local body elections for third time.
  • Police have told government that personnel are inadequate.
  • Polls have been earlier postponed due to floods, rains.

KARACHI: The Sindh government Monday requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to once again postpone the local body polls, citing inadequate police resources to maintain the law and order situation in the province. 

If the election commission decides to put off the polls, this will be the third time that the elections are postponed. 

The second phase of the local body polls was originally scheduled to take place in July, but unprecedented rains and floods — that killed hundreds — hampered the commission’s plans to hold the election.

In the letter to the ECP, the Sindh government said that the province’s inspector-general provided a summary of police personnel deployed, citing a shortage of men for the election.

“The inspector-general of police has provided a summary of deployment along with shortfall details informing that for the said elections, the police force will have to be arranged from District and Interior Sindh along with auxiliaries to meet the shortfall,” the letter mentioned.

“However, due to recent disastrous floods [these human resources are] engaged in flood relief operations and the maintenance of law and order situation due to damaged infrastructure and highways,” it added.

In view of the shortage of manpower due to flood relief operations and enhanced patrolling in the affected portion of roads, the Sindh Police has expressed inability for the required assistance during the local boy polls in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, the letter said.

Mentioning that the police has asked for a postponement of three months, the Sindh government urged the election commission to coordinate with relevant authorities.

The IGP’s office, in the letter to the Sindh government, had mentioned that 39,293 police officers are required on the polling day and currently, given the situation, the shortfall was at 16,786.

Earlier, Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah hinted that local government elections will not be held in Sindh for the next few months.

Speaking during Geo News‘ programme “Capital Talk”, CM Murad said the provincial government has only managed to send aid to 25% of the flood victims, while deaths continue to be recorded. He also shared that Sindh’s infrastructure has been destroyed.

Sindh’s chief minister clearly stated that no one can even consider conducting elections in this situation.

The ECP had announced that the local body elections in the districts of the Karachi Division will be held on October 23.

The elections were supposed to take place on August 28, however, they were postponed due to the heavy flooding triggered by monsoon rains in the port city and other cities in Sindh.

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President Asif Zardari emphasizes the importance of offering assistance to the impoverished and middle-income groups in the federal budget.

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President Asif Ali Zardari has emphasized the importance of offering assistance to the impoverished and middle-income individuals in the forthcoming federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25.

President Asif Ali Zardari expressed these remarks during in a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The conference was attended by Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday to request complete support from him and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for the next budget approval.

The President pledged to offer complete cooperation in attaining the objectives for the economic and developmental advancement of the nation.

Additionally, please peruse: Overview of the 2024-25 Budget

Both parties engaged in a discussion over the current economic state of the country. In addition, they deliberated on factors regarding the provision of assistance to the general people in the forthcoming budget.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also briefed the president about his recent visit to China. Leaders of nations and governments also deliberated on the development initiatives outlined in the forthcoming budget.

President Asif Ali Zardari emphasized to the Prime Minister the importance of offering assistance to the impoverished and middle-class individuals in the forthcoming federal budget.

The government is set to unveil a budget of Rs. 18 trillion.

It is important to mention that the government is prepared to deliver a federal budget above Rs18,500 billion today (Wednesday).

The government has allotted a sum of Rs2,100 billion for defense expenditures and Rs9,700 billion for interest payments on reserved loans. An allocation of Rs. 1500 billion has been made for development projects.

The budget allocates 253 billion rupees for the energy sector, 827 billion rupees for infrastructure, 800 billion rupees for energy sector subsidy, 206 billion rupees for water resources, and 279 billion rupees for transport and communication. The budget has a GDP growth target of 3.6 percent.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will collect taxes amounting to Rs. 12,970 billion.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been assigned a tax collection target of 12,970 billion rupees for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would need to generate an additional revenue of 3,720 billion rupees, with 3,452 billion rupees coming from direct taxes and 267 billion rupees from customs duties, in comparison to the current financial year.

The Inland Revenue’s tax revenue is projected to reach 11,379 billion rupees, with direct taxes accounting for 5,512 billion rupees and income tax contributing 5,454 billion rupees.

The income tax volume has set an extra objective of 1773 billion rupees, bringing the total aim to 2500 billion rupees.

Conversely, the parliamentary party of PPP convened a meeting led by former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. During the meeting, assembly members voiced their apprehensions about the budget and stated that the terms upon which Shehbaz supported the government have yet to be fulfilled.

PPP leader Syed Khurshid Shah expressed his lack of knowledge on the specific details of the budget, as well as the agreements with the IMF and China, during a conversation with the media. In the past, the opposition was consulted, while an ally is not consulted.

The government is presenting a growth-oriented budget today, which amounts to Rs18,900 billion.

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Pakistan

The Prime Minister expressed deep sorrow at the demise of the Vice President of Malawi in an aviation accident.

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif conveyed his profound sorrow on the demise of Vice President Saulos Chilima of Malawi in a sad aviation accident.

The prime minister sent his support to the government and citizens of Malawi during this difficult time and offered his condolences to the grieving family.

Saulos Chilima perished in an aviation accident, alongside nine other individuals, as declared by the nation’s President Lazarus Chakwera in a national speech.

The airplane became untraceable after it was unable to successfully touch down at the Mzuzu International Airport, located around 380 kilometers north of the capital city, Lilongwe. Chakwera has announced that the plane wreckage has been found.

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The court authorizes court reporting through the use of the IHC and grants permission to the media.

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The court has authorized the media to report on court proceedings, with adherence to the guidelines specified in a Supreme Court ruling.

The Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued a written ruling granting approval for the plea to delay the hearing of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and instructed that the matter be scheduled for a hearing in the first week of July.

The ruling is a result of petitions submitted by the Islamabad High Court Journalist Association, press association, and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), which contested the PEMRA announcement.

On May 24th, the IHC sent notifications to PEMRA and the information secretary after receiving a petition that questioned the authority’s prohibition on publishing judicial proceedings. The court issued an injunction preventing PEMRA from imposing any disciplinary measures on television channels based on the present notification.

The court has also issued a notice regarding a miscellaneous petition that seeks to completely halt the PEMRA notification. This lawsuit exemplifies the ongoing legal dispute regarding the control of media coverage of court proceedings and the delicate balance between media freedom and the integrity of the judiciary.

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