Polls rigging allegations in AJK
2 August 2006
The Daily Times
Islamabad: The Peoples Muslim League will launch today (Thursday) a mass contact campaign to apprise the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) of the pre-poll rigging allegedly committed by Pakistan in the recent AJK elections. Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaduhry, the PML convener and former prime minister of AJK, announced the launch of the campaign on Wednesday. He said that the Pakistani government wanted a puppet prime minister in the AJK, who could toe its Kashmir policy. He said that he and Sardar Khalid Ibrahim, the president of Azad Kashmir Peoples Party, would not take oath of the Legislative Assembly in protest. He alleged that Pakistan used the state machinery to divert the minds of voters in AJK and suggesting them to vote for the Muslim Conference (MC). Even the cabinet members and officials of law-enforcement agencies took part in the MC candidates election campaign. He said that Tahir Iqbal, the federal minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas, also participated in the election campaigns of MC candidates. He said that a number of complaints had been lodged by the presiding officers to the AJK chief election commissioner regarding large-scale rigging at the refugee seats in Pakistan wherein the provincial ministers and district governments asked the officials of law enforcement agencies to stamp the ballot papers in favour of MC candidates. No action has been taken in this regard, he added. The former AJK prime minister said that he would raise the issue at his meetings with the human rights organisations and demanded that election results be declared null and void. He said that the results of the elections were against the wishes of Kashmiris and that they had rejected the elections result. He alleged that the new AJK prime minister had been involved in the bungling of Kashmir Jehad funds and also embezzled the money allocated for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the earthquake victims. He said that the meeting of President Pervez Musharraf with Sardar Abdul Qayyum and his son, Sardar Atique was a signal to the government officials to support the Muslim Conference candidates. He said that Kashmiris always supported the accession of valley to Pakistan and were as loyal to Pakistan as people of the other parts of the country. He said that he will hold a public rally on August 14 in Lahore.