Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has emerged as the largest political party in the illegal legislative assembly elections of Pakistan occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK). As Khan’s PTI readies to form its government in the region, the opposition has accused the party of violence, corruption and irregularities.
As per reports, PTI has won 23 seats followed by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with eight seats. The incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)managed to secure just six seats. Muslim Conference (MC) and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Party (JKPP) won one seat each.
PTI with a simple majority will be forming its government in PoJK for the first time. However, the voting which was held on Sunday witnessed cases of violence that continued even amidst counting.
Multiple cases of violence reported
As per a Dawn report, two PTI workers were shot dead in a clash with PPP activists at a polling station in the Kotli district of PoJK.
In another incident, at least five police constables were thrashed by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) activists who attacked them with batons at the Dhal Chakhya polling station.
Voting at the polling booth of a few constituencies had to be temporarily suspended due to incidents of violence. Apart from reports of several people being injured in clashes, a number of political activists were also detained by the police.
PML-N, PPP accuse PTI of violence and deceit
PML-N’s media team submitted copies of nearly 40 complaints of violence and irregularities throughout the day to the election commission.
Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and PPP’s secretary-general Farhatullah Babar with other party leaders also held an emergency news conference in Islamabad accusing PTI of making the electoral process ‘violent and controversial’.
PTI candidates were accused of harassing PPP voters and stopping them from voting with the support of the administration, said the first complaint. PPP also informed that some of their workers had gone missing since Saturday.
A complaint flew out every 20 minutes that spoke of gross violation of the election code, uprooting of its polling camps by police, data manipulation, slowing down the process of voting, capturing and stamping of ballot papers by the PTI workers, suspension of the polling process due to violence inside polling stations and open support by police and poll officers to the PTI candidates.
PML-N leader Raja Farooq Haider Khan in a letter also revealed that workers from an “opposition party” were openly displaying firearms, and alleged that some Rangers personnel deployed at the polling station were “encouraging voters to vote for their favourite opposition party”.
Another PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb criticized the election commissioner for allegedly refusing to accept the party’s applications regarding rigging complaints.
However, the Election Commission asserted that ‘watertight security’ and other measures taken by it left no room for rigging.
Condemning the detention of party workers, Aurangzeb said, “It is a proof of extreme panic of Imran sahib‘s government”.
Nawaz Sharif had urged voters to not let ‘baxa chor’ win
A day before the elections, former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had urged the voters to not vote for ‘baxa chor’ party.
“My brothers and sister when a vote is stolen, it is not just the vote but also the fees of your children, the expenses of your children, your employment that is being stolen. I urge the people to safeguard their votes and stop these “baxa chor (ballot thieves), Cheeni chor(sugar thieves), aata chor( flour thieves) and “medicine chor (medicine thieves),” he said.
Elections in military-occupied region have no legal validity: India
It is notable here that though Pakistan announces the illegally occupied parts of Jammu and Kashmir as ‘Azad Kashmir’ it controls the region with force and elects puppet leaders to run a shadow government.
India had earlier slammed Pakistan for holding elections in the Gilgit-Baltistan region and ha stated that Pakistan’s attempts to alter the status of the military occupied region has no legal basis. The ‘assembly’ of PoK has 53 seats but only 45 are directly elected. 5 seats are reserved for women and 3 are for technocrats.