Tuesday September 21, 2021

Voting for AJK polls ends peacefully in Rawalpindi

July 26, 2021

Rawalpindi : The voting for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) elections which commenced at 8.00 am ended peacefully here at 5.00 pm and no major untoward incident was reported in the city.

The counting of votes has started and the complete results would be announced at the spot by the Presiding Officers after completion of the counting process.

According to the polling officials, the voters present inside the polling stations would be allowed to cast ballots even after the end of polling time.

As many as 97 polling stations were set up in Rawalpindi for the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) elections while as many as 1,500 police officers and constables were deployed to ensure law and order and enforce the code of conduct issued by the Election Commission.

City Police Officer (CPO) Rawalpindi, Muhammad Ahsan Younas directed the officers and personnel to effectively implement the Election Code of Conduct and all the rules.

The CPO also directed the police officers that the election code of conduct should be implemented in letter and spirit at all cost, adding, no one should be allowed to display weapons.

“All-out efforts were made to ensure the implementation of rules and regulations and code of conduct issued by the Election Commission,” he added.

All available resources were utilised to create a peaceful and conducive atmosphere for the elections, he said and added that senior police officers were monitoring all election processes in their respective areas.

It is pertinent to mention here that the constituencies for Kashmiri refugees, who cast their vote to elect 12 members of the Azad Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly (AJKLA) on Sunday, are scattered far and wide across Pakistan. No election has such geographically scattered constituencies. One constituency is spread over all the four provinces while another two are scattered in two different federating units.

Some other constituencies are located in a large number of districts of Pakistan, often far away from each other.

Since the entire polling staff, including the District Returning Officers (DROs) and ROs for the refugee seats belong to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), it is the ECP’s responsibility to ensure that the electoral exercise is fair, free, and transparent.

ECP personnel working in the provincial headquarters and districts have been deputed to supervise the election for the refugee seats according to previous practice. The Rawalpindi, Sialkot, and Narowal districts have the largest concentration of the refugee voters as four seats will be contested in these areas. The voters living in ward numbers 1 to 14 within the limits of Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) as they existed in 1985; Rawalpindi Cantonment wards numbers 1 to 10; Rawalpindi district outside the limits of RMC; Islamabad Capital Territory and Attock district will cast their ballots for the LA-XLIV Kashmir Valley-V seat.