peshawar   -  Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday directed the Election Commission to hold elections for village and neighbourhood councils in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on party basis.

The verdict was given by the PHC in writ petitions, which had been moved by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal lawmaker Akram Khan Durrani, Khushdil Khan Advocate, ANP’s Himayat Ullah Mayar and Mushtaq Ahmad of Jamaat-e-Islami.

The ECP later issued a statement saying that the PHC verdict would not affect the announced schedule of the elections. It said the commission did not want to either delay or postpone the balloting.

The PHC directed the provincial government and the Election Commission to ask the returning officers to accept nomination papers from candidates for village and neighbourhood councils on party basis from November 4 as per schedule announced by the ECP on October 25.

The petitioners had filed petitions in the PHC after the government and ECP announced to organise the village and neighbourhood council elections in the coming local government polls on non-party basis. As per the ECP schedule, the LG elections in KP are to be held in half of the province on December 19 and the in remaining districts of the province in January.

JI welcomes PHC verdict on elections: Welcoming court verdict regarding local bodies elections on party basis, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) provincial amir Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan on Tuesday said that the PHC decision had shattered dreams of “inefficient rulers.”

Addressing a news conference at Peshawar Press Club, he criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for delaying the LG elections for two years and welcomed the decisions of the PHC and Election Commission of Pakistan to hold the polls.

Flanked by party’s activists, the JI Senator said that the PTI rulers gifted the people with price-hike, adding that wrong policies of the inefficient rulers had increased the foreign loans up to Rs27 billion.