Shahid Khaqan Abbasi predicts rigging in Azad Kashmir elections


Islamabad – Staff Reporter:

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has predicted the upcoming Azad Jammu and Kashmir general elections to be rigged.

Addressing the media in Islamabad on Tuesday, the PML-N leader said the government machinery is preparing for a rigged election in the region.

The former premier criticized the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf government for ‘holding no respect for the Kashmiri voter’s choice.”

Four PML-N ministers from Azad Kashmir, a presidential adviser, and assembly members reportedly left the party ahead of the elections last week.

Sardar Mir Akbar and Chaudhry Shehzad Mehmood, who are members of the legislative assembly, are expected to join PTI, along with Ali Raza.

Sardar Sikander and his son Revenue Minister Farooq Sikander will join the Muslim Conference, while Raja Abdul Qayyum has returned his PML-N election ticket.

Aijaz Yousaf has decided to contest the election on an independent seat.

Direct elections on 45 seats of the Azad Kashmir legislative assembly are set to be held on July 25, Sunday. Four constituencies have been added to the elections this year.

The last date for submission of nomination papers before the returning officers was June 21, while the scrutiny of the nomination papers took place on June 22.

Over 2.8 million voters have been registered in Azad Kashmir and 0.4 million in Jammu.

Last month, the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir handed over the security of the upcoming polls to the Pakistan Rangers.

A ban has been imposed on the approval of developmental projects, inaugurations, and foundation stone laying ceremonies, and inspection of developmental projects in the region.

The election commission has also imposed a ban on transfers, promotions, and new appointments in all government institutions.

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