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Tuesday November 30, 2021

PPP rejects bid to 'delay' AJK elections: Raja Pervaiz Ashraf

Former premier says PPP will not let the government steal the people's mandate

By Web Desk
May 31, 2021
Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on May 31, 2021. — YouTube

Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said Monday  PPP rejected the federal government's bid to "delay " the upcoming Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections or rig it, as it would hurt the Kashmir cause.

The former premier, addressing a press conference in Islamabad,  said PPP would not let the government steal the people's mandate.

"PPP rejects the decision to delay and rig the elections."

The PPP leader called on the AJK government to not ignore the prime minister's statements and said that the party has decided to "reject the federal government's decision on the AJK elections."

Ashraf said transparent, unbiased, and timely elections should be held in AJK, adding that the government would reap what it is sowing.

"The government is also weakening the Kashmir cause through its policies," Ashraf said.

The former prime minister questioned the National Command and Operations Centre's (NCOC) move to write a letter to the government, asking for the postponement of the elections.

Ashraf reminded the premier that he would often say that if inflation rises, then the prime minister is to blame.

The whole country has been mortgaged to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said, adding that the government would try to give negligible relief to the masses in the upcoming budget.

NCOC suggests postponement of AJK election

A day earlier, the NCOC had suggested postponing the upcoming Azad Jammu And Kashmir election by two months.

In this connection, the NCOC has written a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner of AJK, stating that due to the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country, the polls should be delayed.

The letter said that large political gatherings due to elections will lead to the further spread of the potentially deadly virus in the state, adding that the number of coronavirus positive cases are already high therein.

The NCOC said one million residents of AJK could be vaccinated by September 2021.

It should be noted that the AJK Assembly's terms will end on July 29, but so far, the schedule for the new election has not been issued.

'PTI wants its desired results in Azad Kashmir elections'

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister of AJK Raja Farooq Haider had accused the PTI government of wanting to achieve its desired results in the AJK elections.

Haider said that if Imran Khan interferes in the election, then AJK will forget all courtesy

He said that no matter what PM Imran Khan does, AJK will never become a province.

Haider added that he had received a letter from the NCOC to postpone the elections for the next two month.

"Elections in AJK can only be postponed if there is external aggression," PM Farooq said. "Such letters are an insult to the voters of Azad Kashmir. This power is vested in the Legislative Assembly of Azad Kashmir, however, this approach will create political tension in the state."

A few days ago, Haider had said that the prime minister of Pakistan "did not even know that Azad Kashmir has its own election commission," adding that "PM Imran Khan does not have the authority to introduce electronic voting machines (EVMs) in Azad Kashmir."

He added that there is no reason to postpone the polls because by-elections were also held in the country despite the pandemic.

"It is not possible to postpone elections in Azad Kashmir," Haider said. "The election results of Azad Kashmir could not be decided in a closed room of Bani Gala."