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IHC declares delimitation of four constituencies void

Delimitation of four constituencies was declared void while the verdict on five others was reserved by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday, said a written court order.
Justice Umar Farooq, while announcing the verdict on a petition against the delimitations, declared void delimitations of Jhang, Jhelum, Toba Tek Singh, and Lower Dir.
The verdict on delimitation of Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Chakwal, Battagram, and Haripur was reserved.
The court ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to hear all stakeholders and carry out the delimitations process again.
IHC will hear 37 petitions against delimitation of 20 constituencies on Wednesday.
The population proportion must be considered for the new delimitations, the court ordered.
The court heard 40 of the 108 petitions lodged against delimitations from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
According to the petitioners, political basis for delimitations had not been kept in mind and rules were not considered.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has faced severe criticism from political circles. A committee of the National Assembly (NA) had previously expressed its displeasure at the non-transparency of the exercise.
The ECP follows a set formula for the number of provincial and NA seats that a district is allotted. However, the final mapping within the districts remains unclear and open to controversy.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said the Islamabad High Court had declared void the delimitation of eight constituencies. The error is regretted.