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Imran’s party wins PoK polls, PML-N candidate says ‘will seek India’s help’ over poll rigging

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s PTI party is set to form the next government in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK), emerging as the largest political party in violence-marred assembly elections, even as a PML-N candidate has triggered controversy by saying he will “seek India’s help” over the alleged rigging by the ruling PTI.

According to Pakistani media, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party of Imran Khan won 25 of the 45 seats, while the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won 11 seats and the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secured six seats in the elections held on Sunday.

The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party (JKPP) and the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC) won one seat each, Geo News reported.

Meanwhile, the PML-N party has issued showcause notice to Choudhary Muhammad Ismail Gujjar, the party candidate from LA-35 Jammu-2 constituency, over his statement that he will “seek India’s help” over alleged poll rigging.

Speaking to mediapersons in Gujranwala on Sunday, Ismail Gujjar had said he would “seek India’s help” if the local administration did not cooperate with him after his election camp was dismantled.

On Sunday, the deputy commissioner had allegedly kicked out PML-N and All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference’s polling agents from a polling station set up at Government High School No 2.

After they were made to leave the polling station, the agents of the two parties had reportedly got into a heated argument with the deputy commissioner and the polling process was halted.

Gujjar had said his election camp was “dismantled” despite the presence of police personnel.

He had warned his party would “also cause problems” if the polling process did not continue peacefully, Geo News reported.

“The deputy commissioner had asked my polling agents to leave and threatened them,” the PML-N candidate had said.

He had asked the government to take action, otherwise unrest will ensue “and people will die”.

On Monday, PML-N senior leader Ahsan Iqbal said Gujjar had been directed to submit his written reply within seven days.

Strict disciplinary action would be taken against Gujjar if he fails to give a satisfactory answer over the matter within the stipulated time, he added.

Meanwhile, the main opposition parties, PML-N and PPP have expressed serious reservations over the election results in PoK 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.

Senator Sherry Rehman, PPP vice-president, has accused the Imran Khan government of “systematic rigging”, and said it was attempting to “steal” the elections, Pakistani media reported.

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, in a statement, alleged that PTI ‘goons’ had attacked the party’s workers in Gujranwala’s Alipur Chatha area. She said police arrested her party workers instead of the PTI workers indulging in violence.

Meanwhile, The Dawn said Kashmiri refugees living in Balochistan showed scant interest in the PoK Assembly elections.

According to reports, not a single voter turned up at the polling stations in Nasirabad, Kech, Mastung, Barkhan and Qila Saifullah.

Kashmiri refugees, a large number of whom live in Quetta, cast their votes in three polling stations set up in Pak-Girls High School and Government Sandeman High School, the report said.

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