Sunday September 19, 2021

'Ambassador of Kashmir has won': PTI celebrates after winning simple majority in AJK Assembly

PTI grabs 25 seats, PPP gets 11, and PML-N 6 seats, according to unofficial results
Web Desk
July 26, 2021
PTI workers celebrate victory in this screengrab from a video shared by PTI on Twitter.
PTI workers celebrate victory in this screengrab from a video shared by PTI on Twitter.

Ahead of the results across all 45 constituencies being announced, celebrations broke out in PTI's camp after it won majority in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly in the general election on Sunday, according to unofficial results.

Although results of just one constituency were pending, unofficial results showed  PTI in the lead with 25 seats,  PPP in second place with 11 and PML-N in third place with six seats.

Both the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party (JKPP) and the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC) also won one seat each.

"The Ambassador of Kashmir has won. Congratulations Pakistan!" PTI tweeted in triumph.

The polling day, although claimed by the AJK Election Commission to have gone smoothly, was  marred by violence that saw the death of two persons as parties clashed.

Soon after polling ended at 5pm, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry claimed an early victory for PTI in the Pind Dadan Khan and Khewra tehsils.

He said that voter participation in the AJK polls indicated that people took great interest in casting their vote and that they have expressed full confidence in the polling exercise.

"InshaAllah, Imran Khan's government in AJK will prove to be a source of strength for the people of occupied Kashmir," he said.

Opposition slams PTI-led govt for 'rigging' elections

In a parallel development, Opposition parties slammed the PTI-led government for "rigging" the elections.

Senator Sherry Rehman, PPP's vice-president, blamed the Centre for "systematic rigging" and said it was attempting to "steal" the elections.

The PPP leader alleged PTI workers had fired on a PPP worker's car during polling time, while police had uprooted a camp belonging to her party.

"There is a clear difference between the voter lists of several polling stations [...] PPP has submitted a written complaint to the AJK Election Commission," she said.

Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, in a statement, claimed PTI "goons" had attacked her party's workers in Gujranwala's Alipur Chatha area to "rig" the election.

Aurangzeb said despite PTI workers beating up her party workers, the police "arrested those associated with PML-N".

"PTI has been allowed to engage in hooliganism with complete liberty," she alleged.

The spokesperson alleged that AJK Election Commission officials had refused to accept PML-N's written complaints, saying they would accept them after permission from the chief election commissioner.

"Complaints of violence and rigging do not meet the criteria for a transparent election," she added.

Aurangzeb had earlier drawn attention to what she had termed as "irregularities" being reported from various constituencies.

"Complaints of polling agents being prevented from entering polling stations and closure of polling are increasing," she said in a statement.

She claimed that polling has been stalled for two hours at Girls Primary School Kangarhariwala, Union Council Komi Kot.

"Women voters are being treated insultingly," she added and claimed that there are reports of votes being stamped inside the polling station with the help of staff.

No polling agent was allowed to enter LA-32 Chakar, LA-33 Goharabad except that of PTI, she further claimed.

"The tactics of 2018 and Daska elections are being repeated openly," Marriyum said, adding: "If any untoward situation arises then Imran sahib will be responsible," she said.

The polls in numbers

There are 5,118 polling stations in Azad Kashmir and 970 across Pakistan. A total of 3,019 polling stations in AJK had been declared as normal, whereas 1,269 polling stations had been declared sensitive and 904 declared highly sensitive.

Of the highly sensitive polling stations, 168 were in Muzaffarabad, 312 in Poonch, and 424 in Mirpur.

AJK has a total of 3.2 million voters, out of which 1.75 million are male and 1.46 million are female.

There are 33 electoral constituencies in the ten districts of AJK, while 12 constituencies are reserved for Pakistan-based Jammu and Kashmir refugees. Polling booths in all the provinces have been set up for the refugees.

Over 2.8 million voters have been registered in 33 AJK constituencies and 0.4 million for the 12 Jammu Kashmir refugee constituencies in various parts of Pakistan.

A total of 691 candidates, including 381 belonging to a total of 32 registered political parties and a total of 310 independent candidates, are in the running for the 45 seats.

The elections are being held under the supervision of AJK Judiciary, Pakistan Army, and Rangers with the coordination of the local civil law enforcement institutions.