ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday directed the government to hold local body elections in the federal capital within the next six months.

Islamabad High Court judge Justice Noor-ul-Haq Qureshi announced decision on Tuesday after hearing petition regarding local body elections in the capital with Advocates Babar Awan and Kaukab Iqbal representing each side. It is important to mention here that a petition was filed in Islamabad High Court six months ago, with the petitioners pleading to the court that common man was being deprived of his basic rights because of local government was not in the federal capital. The petitioners argued that people of Islamabad District, especially those living in outskirts of federal capital, were facing numerous problems while there was no one to listen to them. In the petition, the petitioners had both argued that under Article 32 of the constitution, the respondents are duty-bound to hold the elections. Quoting Article 37 of constitution, Advocate Kokab Iqbal told Islamabad High Court that citizen of Islamabad District cannot be deprived of their rights.

It is pertinent to mention here that Article 37 of constitution states: “Creation and promotion of local government institutions, comprised of elected representation of the areas concerned, is the best method to meet the demands and requirements of the public.”

Advocate Kokab argued that under Article 1 of the Constitution, Islamabad Capital Territory is an independent federating unit, so all the citizens must be treated as equal in accordance with the law, in this case regarding the right to have elected representation.