ANP files petition against delimitation

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From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Awami National Party (ANP) filed an application yesterday seeking adjustments in the delimitations outlined by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The application, submitted by ANP leader Zahid Khan through his counsel, raises objections against newly-constituted Lower Dir constituencies NA-6 and NA-7 which was previously a combined jurisdiction under NA-34.

Zahid, who has already been allotted a party ticket to contest NA-34, states in his petition that the delimitation ‘violates’ basic principles and guidelines and annexes “map, union council wise population and draft list of constituency of National Assembly of District Lower Dir.”

The petition highlights that despite being adjacent to each other, Union Council Manjhai with a population of 40, 614 has been made part of NA-7 while Union Counsil Balambat with a population 40, 146 was now under NA-6.

“The basic principles for delimitation must and should be regarding the distribution of the population and geographically compact areas, existing boundaries of administrative units, facility of communication and public convenience,” the petition reads. The application requests ECP to ‘correct’ the error in delimitation of constituencies.

On Sunday, another ANP leader urged the ECP to divide Balochistan’s PB 12 Gulistan into two constituencies to prevent tribal rifts. “Despite the court judgment on sensitization of Gulistan, the ECP’s new delimitation of PB 12 can cause tribal rifts, endangering the lives of the people of the area,” said Engineer Zamrak Khan Achakzai, the only MPA of ANP in the Balochistan Assembly.

“The honourable court directed the ECP to take tribal elders and all stakeholders into confidence before issuing new delimitation notification, but still the ECP took an unsolicited decision.”

He said that keeping in mind the sensitivity of the area, the ECP should restore PB 12 to its previous position (two constituencies) on immediate basis otherwise tribes in the area would clash with each other. “Such clashes have already claimed hundreds of innocent lives,” he added.

“The ANP has always attempted to keep a peaceful environment in the area and will continue to play its role until ECP addresses our plea,” said Achakzai, adding that they would approach the Supreme Court over the grievous issue.

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