Opposition party demands fresh polls in PoK

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Muzaffarabad, March 29 : Alleging that the elections held in July 2006 were rigged, the main Opposition party in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), the Peoples Party, has demanded fresh polls under an independent and impartial election commission.

He said that polls held under the former dictatorial regime were not free and fair.

"The sanctity of ballot was trampled in PoK under the umbrella of dictatorship in Pakistan and therefore my party seeks fresh elections in the state. This is not the demand of my party alone but of every citizen who was betrayed in the July 2006 elections," the Dawn quoted PPAJK president Chaudhry Abdul Majeed as saying while speaking to reporters.

He stated that the PPAJK would create such circumstances in PoK as would leave no option with the government but to call fresh polls. "We may again sit on the Opposition benches, but we cannot accept the outcome of July 2006 elections wherein the opinion of people was bulldozed by an individual," he said, referring to President Musharraf.

He said the honourable way for the PoK government was to step down and pave way for fresh, free and fair elections.

Accusing the acting chief election commissioner in the AJK of being partisan, he said he should also resign so that an impartial person could assume this office.

Majeed made it clear that his party was opposed to the intervention of the federal government in the AJK and instead wanted it to remain impartial. "But our right to form a government of our choice which was usurped by the previous autocratic regime of Mr Musharraf should be returned to us," the Dawn quoted him as saying.

Listing right to self-determination of Kashmiris, rehabilitation of earthquake survivors and Mangla dam victims as the three most important issues, Majeed alleged that the present AJK government had failed to deliver on each count.

He maintained that talks should have been held with India under the framework of right to self-determination "but Musharraf did otherwise only to prolong his rule."

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