Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry said that the Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) decided to hold by-elections under pressure. The PTI leader said in a statement on Tuesday it was due to media pressure that the election commission decided to hold by-elections and local body elections. Fawad said that despite the fact that the government was not willing to conduct by-polls and local government elections, the ECP decided to hold the elections. The PTI leader’s remarks came hours after the ECP announced it would convene by-polls and Karachi’s local body elections on their respective dates. Issuing a statement on Tuesday, the ECP said the by-elections for the national and provincial assemblies’ seats will take place on October 16 and the second phase of Karachi’s local body elections will also go as scheduled for October 23. Both elections are behind schedule. Accordingly, the commission refused the requests seeking to postpone the polls. However, the ECP has delayed the by-election in the NA-45 constituency, citing security concerns. In a separate statement, the PTI leader said the establishment in Pakistan has never been as unpopular as it is today. As long as it [the establishment] supported the PTI government, it was popular, he asserted. The increasing unpopularity of the incumbent government has also drowned the establishment, Fawad said. As the government stands on the shoulders of the establishment, it cannot operate in this manner, he said, He also added that the establishment is also suffering in the process. The federal and Sindh governments expressed concerns with the poll because of a paucity of security personnel, among other issues, However, the ECP meeting, which was presided over by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, agreed to proceed with the election. The by-elections were originally slated to take place in September, but the ECP postponed them due to a lack of security personnel in the wake of devastating floods, which have resulted in over 1,700 fatalities.