ISLAMABAD: The main opposition parties, PML-N and PPP, Sunday expressed serious reservations over the election results in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and accused the PTI-led government of systematic rigging in the election for the Legislative Assembly.
Two people were killed due to clashes between political activists and several others were injured.
However, AJK Chief Election Commissioner Justice Abdul Rasheed Sulheria told the media during a polling station visit that polling remained peaceful at 99 percent polling stations, as he had been receiving reports. Some minor incidents of violence and stoppage of polling were reported to him at a few polling stations and he was taking cognizance of them and due process of law would be applied to ensure transparency of polling, he promised.
The AJK CEC was accompanied by Election Commission member Farhat Ali Mir and Raja Farooq Niaz during his visit to different polling stations in Muzaffarabad. He expressed satisfaction over the arrangements and process of polling throughout the region.
He expressed optimism that keeping in view the early polling trend within the AJK, the turnout could cross over 55 per cent. He said all the presiding officers had been directed to announce results at the spot after conclusion of the counting and results be given to polling agents of candidates on form 24, signed by them.
He said the Election Commission was monitoring the polling process through its central control room, established at Muzaffarabad, connected with offices of returning officers of each constituency.
However, the opposition parties expressed their reservation about the voting process and the results. Senator Sherry Rehman, PPP's vice-president, blamed the federal government for "systematic rigging", and said it was attempting to "steal" the elections.
Separately, PPP leader and former premier Raja Pervez Ashraf accused the PTI government of rigging the elections. He was addressing a press conference along with Farhatullah Babar, Senator Palwasha Khan, Senator Rubina Khalid, Nazir Dhoki, Nadeem Asghar Kaira and Sardar Zulfikar Ali on Sunday. He said through its negative tactics, the federal government had damaged the Kashmir cause. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan should stop playing with fire. He alleged that Imran Khan was trying to spoil the Kashmir case.
He said the PPP had lodged written complaints with the Election Commission and the Chief Election Commissioner should take notice of the attitude of the federal government. Raja Pervez said senior PPP leader Chaudhry Yasin's car was fired upon. He said the PPP election camp in Rawalpindi had been dismantled.
Separately, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, in a statement, alleged that the PTI ‘goons’ had attacked party's workers in Gujranwala's Alipur Chatha area. She said despite PTI workers beating up the PML-N workers, the police arrested those associated with her party.
The spokesperson alleged that AJK Election Commission officials had refused to accept PMLN's written complaints. She said no polling agent was allowed to enter LA-32 Chakar, LA-33 Goharabad, except for the PTI’s. "The tactics of 2018 and Daska elections are being repeated openly," Marriyum said.
Elsewhere, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib expressed hope that Kashmiris would vote for Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI) and ensure its victory in the 11th general election of AJK.
In a tweet, he said like Gilgit-Baltistan, the people of Kashmir would reject Modi's cronies, corrupt, money-launderers, fake account-holders and certified liars in the AJK polls. Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umer said the election in AJK would be historical and the PTI would win with a thumping majority.
Talking to a private news channel, he said the PTI would emerge as the largest party after winning the election as Imran Khan was the favourite and strong voice of Kashmir.
Meanwhile,Federal Minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Khan Gandapur strongly condemned the viral statement of PML-N ticket holder Ismail Gujjar and said this showed they had deep relations with India.In a statement here, the minister said PML-N and PPP started shouting about rigging even before polling began in AJK. “We have already expressed the fear that they will cry for election rigging, as in Gilgit-Baltistan too, they had started crying for rigging after seeing the defeat. PML-N has been presenting India's narrative since the beginning of the election campaign,” Ali Amin Gandapur said.
“Hooliganism of PML-N and PPP workers continues. So far, two PTI workers have sacrificed their lives, while at least seven PTI workers have been injured in various incidents. A PTI worker was martyred by Chaudhry Yasin's son who also injured several PTI workers in his firing,” he charged.
The minister maintained the people of Azad Kashmir are fully supporting the PTI. “We support clean, transparent and peaceful elections. Seeing defeat, PML-N and PPP want to spread unrest through their bullying,” he said.
Meanwhile,Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said Sunday the elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) will further ignite the dreams of the people of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK).“One day the people of entire Kashmir will freely express their views and form a government with their representatives. Today's election is in the name of Imran Khan's new Kashmir, God willing,” he said in a tweet.
In another tweet, the minister said Alhamdulillah, PTI has won from Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil and Khewra. He added from the polling rate in Kashmir elections, it seems that the common man has taken full interest in these elections.
The common man, he noted, has expressed full confidence in the electoral process. Insha Allah, Imran Khan's government in Kashmir will be a source of strength for the people of occupied Kashmir.