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September 28, 2020

PML-N, JUI-F not to attend meeting on GB polls

National

 
September 28, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) have refused to attend a parliamentary leaders meeting, called by Speaker Asad Qaiser to discuss upcoming Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) elections.

The session was convened for Monday (today). Opposition leader and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif reacted to the development by stating that Gilgit-Baltistan is a sensitive and national issue, and that it is connected with the Kashmir cause.

In a statement issued on the upcoming elections in the area, Shahbaz demanded that the federal government should not obstruct the process of transparent and free elections in GB. He said that considering the government's attitude, his party has decided not to cooperate with them in any way for the GB polls.

The PML-N president further said that the National Assembly speaker had no authority to interfere in the electoral affairs of Gilgit-Baltistan. Meanwhile, the JUI-F also withdrew from attending the meeting.

On the other hand, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, while condemning the interference of the Centre in the general elections, said that the speaker and federal ministers have nothing to do with the elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.

"The National Assembly speaker and federal ministers have nothing to do with elections in GB. We condemn the interference of the federal government in the elections," the PPP leader wrote on Twitter, clarifying that the party will only be engaging with the Election Commission GB on our demands for fair elections.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said the PML-N would soon divide into "multiple factions" - backing Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid's claims.

Addressing the media, he said the opposition was looking to blackmail the government as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) noose was tightening around them. "Their threats to resign from the assemblies also stem from the same reason and now, after they have failed [to stop] the Financial Action Task Force legislation from passing, they want to take to the streets," he said.