The Election Commission of Pakistan on Saturday rejected a fresh request by the Sindh government to postpone the second phase of local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad, sources said. Elections will now be held in these areas today. This was decided during an emergency meeting of the ECP held on Saturday afternoon. The meeting was chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja. The fresh request by the Sindh government, wherein it was requested to postpone polls due to unavailability of the military to depute troops for static duties outside highly sensitive and sensitive polling stations in two of Sindh’s largest cities. Further, the Sindh government had pointed to threats to polling activity and to individuals involved. However, the ECP, which has already requested the federal government for deployment of civil armed forces and paramilitaries in the city for holding elections, decided to press ahead with the announced schedule of elections. The apex election body said that it had reviewed a request by the Sindh government to delay the scheduled local bodies elections on January 15 as per Section 34 of the Sindh Local Government Act 2013. ECP in a press release issued on Saturday said that after reviewing the request of Sindh government, it had decided that elections in Karachi and Hyderabad division will be held as per the announced schedule of January 15. The ECP also ordered Sindh government to make stringent security arrangements for holding peaceful elections. Meanwhile, in response to the ECP’s request, the Interior Ministry has approved the static deployment of Frontier Constabulary outside at all highly sensitive and sensitive polling stations to ensure the smooth conduct of said elections. “The exact number of troops, date and area of deployment will be worked out by the Election Commission of Pakistan, Home Department Government of Sindh in consultation with Frontier Constabulary authorities, on the basis of on-ground requirement/assessment,” the letter read. In line with the Interior Ministry’s approval, as many as 20 Frontier Constabulary (FC) platoons have been provided to the Sindh police to assist in ensuring security during the LG polls in Karachi and Hyderabad, FC Commandant Salahuddin Mehsud said. “Over 800 personnel have been given to Sindh as per the federal government’s directives,” Mehsud said.