Tuesday May 25, 2021
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Tuesday said that just like by-polls took in Pakistan despite the pandemic, elections in Azad Kashmir should also be conducted and cannot be postponed, Geo News reported.
Addressing a press conference in Muzaffarabad, the AJK prime minister said that Pakistan and India must not violate the 1957 resolution on the Kashmir issue.
Speaking about Shah Mehmood Qureshi, he said that the solution of Kashmir is "not in the hands of the foreign minister, therefore, he should avoid issuing statements."
He said that the prime minister of Pakistan "did not even know that Azad Kashmir has its own election commission," adding that "PM Imran Khan does not have the authority to introduce electronic voting machines (EVMs) in Azad Kashmir."
Haider said that while the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) has suggested delaying the elections in Azad Kashmir in view of the growing number of coronavirus cases, there is no reason to postpone the polls because by-elections were also held in the country despite the pandemic.
"It is not possible to postpone elections in Azad Kashmir," Haider said. "The election results of Azad Kashmir could not be decided in a closed room of Bani Gala."
Meanwhile, a meeting related to the Azad Kashmir elections, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, concluded in Islamabad today during which PTI's strategy in the upcoming elections was finalised, sources said.
Sources added that the PTI has decided not to ally with any political party in the said elections and will be contesting alone.
During the meeting, it was decided that the names of PTI candidates contesting in the Azad Kashmir elections will also be finalised soon, sources said, adding that the PM Khan has handed over election-related tasks to different ministers, including minister of interior Sheikh Rasheed.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday also unveiled his party candidates for the upcoming Azad Jammu & Kashmir General Elections 2021.
The candidate list was issued after last week's PPP Parliamentary Board of AJK completed consultations regarding the elections and submitted a report to the PPP chairman.
The meeting of the board was held at the Zardari House, Islamabad, and was chaired by Faryal Talpur, central president of the PPP Women's Wing, and other senior leaders.
The general elections in AJK are due to take place in June or July this year. However, the exact date for the polls is yet to be announced by the region's election commission.