Tuesday Jul 27, 2021
Opposition party PML-N has rejected the results of Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly elections, alleging that they were "stolen to fulfil an international agenda".
Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, PML-N Senior Vice President and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and General Secretary PML-N Ahsan Iqbal held a press conference in Islamabad today to protest the results.
Abbasi said that the issue did not start on election day, "it started with rigging before the election".
"Candidates and workers were called and asked to change allegiances," he added.
"In fact, it is democracy that lost in Azad Kashmir on July 25," the former premier said.
"How will a non-representative government be able to take the Kashmir issue forward?" he asked.
Abbasi said that "despite pressure and temptation, our candidates stood firm".
"No other party held rallies as large as the PML-N," he added.
Referring to PM Imran Khan's promise to the people of Kashmir of a referendum following the UN plebiscite, Abbasi said that opening a new path forward "is a negation of UN resolutions".
The PML-N stalwart said that such people are being brought to power "who wish to come on the basis of money".
"We reject the election and consider it a robbery of the rights of the people of Kashmir," he said.
Haider, for his part, asked whether a government "that does not want to give Kashmiris the right to rule" will give them the right to self-determination.
"What do I begin to say about what happened here," he remarked, adding: "This will be exploited by India."
The AJK PM said that the people of Kashmir "are not sheep or goats". He swore to run a campaign in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and to "tell the whole world" of this "money-compromised election".
"You buy people's consciences by waving money at them," he alleged.
Iqbal, meanwhile, said that PM Imran Khan has "stolen the mandate" in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, but "now is not the time to protest the election, rather it is the time to break this ritual".
"Money was used ruthlessly in Azad Kashmir," he said.
The PML-N general secretary asked why when a complaint demanding a recount has been handed in, are the bags of votes not being opened.
"Why has our request been rejected?" he demanded to know.