PML-N, JUI-F turn down NA speaker's invitation to attend meeting related to GB polls

PPP chairman says NA speaker and federal ministers have nothing to do with Gilgit-Baltistan polls

Web Desk
JUI-F leader Fazlur Rehman (L) and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif . — Geo News/File

ISLAMABAD: The PML-N and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have refused to attend a parliamentary leaders meeting called by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to discuss proposals regarding the upcoming Gilgit-Baltistan elections.

The session has been convened by Qaiser tomorrow. Opposition leader and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif reacted to the development by stating that Gilgit-Baltistan is a sensitive and national issue, and that it is connected with the Kashmir cause.

In a statement issued on the upcoming elections in the area, Shehbaz demanded that the federal government should not obstruct the process of transparent and free elections in GB.

He said that considering the government's attitude, his party has decided not to cooperate with them in any way for the GB polls.

The PML-N president further said that the speaker of the National Assembly has no authority to interfere in the electoral affairs of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Shehbaz said that he would abide by the resolutions and decisions passed at the All Parties Conference meeting.

Meanwhile, the JUI-F also withdrew from attending the meeting.

Read more: GB election commission issues schedule for Nov 15 polls

On the other hand, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, while condemning the "interference" of the Centre in the general elections, said that the speaker and federal ministers have nothing to do with the elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.

"The Speaker National Assembly and Federal ministers have nothing to do with elections in GB. We condemn the interference of the federal government in the elections," the PPP leader wrote on Twitter, clarifying that the party will only be engaging with the Election Commission GB on our demands for fair elections. 

On Thursday, the Election Commission of Gilgit Baltistan had issued the election schedule for the region's legislative assembly that will be held on November 15 of this year.

As per the schedule, candidates can submit their nomination papers for the elections from September 15 till September 30 for the legislative assembly. The list of the candidates who submit will their nomination papers will be issued on October 1.