KARACHI: Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has said that it is the obligation of the Election Commission of Azad Kashmir to make sure that Sunday’s general polls in AJK do not turn into the most controversial elections of the history, while charging that federal government’s resources are being used to influence the electoral outcome.
Speaking at a press conference here at Sindh Assembly on Saturday, the PPP Chairman said that unprecedented harm had been done to the Kashmir cause due to the conduct, statements, and inaction of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The PPP Chairman said that the PM Imran Khan had always erred on the Kashmir issue. “He (the PM) feels that he could adopt any stance on any issue and later take a U-turn,” said the PPP Chairman, while adding that the PM erroneously believed that the people of Kashmir could be fooled and were saleable commodities. Referring to PM’s statement of offering referendum in Kashmir following a plebiscite, Bilawal said if that is reflective of the policy of the state and is in line with the United Nations resolutions then it is praiseworthy, but if it reinforces the agenda of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi then you (the PM) should refrain from such shallow and harmful statements and keep quiet,” said Bilawal.
Imploring the Election Commission in Kashmir, to exercise its authority to save the latest polling process in the region from becoming the most controversial in history, he said that PM Imran Khan has tried to influence the electoral process by visiting Azad Kashmir before elections. To a question, he said that certain people are trying to to create a misunderstanding that the national security institutions would interfere in the Azad Kashmir elections. “I don’t think that such a thing would happen because it will have serious repercussions on the (Kashmir) region,” he said. Bilawal appealed to the Election Commission of AJK to take cognisance and disqualify the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s candidate in Bagh who claimed support of the national security institutions, in a public meeting.
He said that whether the present government of Azad Kashmir or Imran Khan both had abandoned the Kashmiri people. He alleged that the federal government would attempt every “foul and unfair tactic” in the Azad Kashmir polls which would be highly condemnable. He warned that any rigging in today’s polls will seriously harm the Kashmir struggle. He said the federal ministers were blatantly violating the EC code of conduct in Azad Kashmir and the media had caught them red-handed while bribing people. He said the polling would become controversial if by Sunday no action was taken against the guilty federal minister and the contesting candidates who despite directions of the Election Commission received the federal minister.