SRINAGAR: With Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerging as the single largest party in the Sunday elections, the Imran Khan party will rule Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK). His party is already ruling the other part of Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, already separated from the Muzaffarabad managed territory.
Reports appearing in the Pakistan media suggest that of the 45 seats that had been poling on Sunday, Khan’s party won 25 seats. Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) emerged as the principal apposition with 11 berths and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) could get only six seats. The region was ruled by PML-N as it had bagged 31 berths in the last election. The result of one berth is reportedly withheld because of the violence in which two PTI workers were killed. Pakistani media reported these results insisting these are unofficial.
Interestingly, the local PaK politics stands pushed to the wall. Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party (JKPP) and the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC) won one seat each. MC is the oldest political party of pre-1947 Kashmir. The entire elections took place within the three main political parties of Pakistan.
Of the 45 general seats that went to polls on Sunday, six are reserved for settlers from Jammu who migrated to PaK in 1947 and 1965. The number of voters for these seats stands at 373652. Six other seats are for Kashmiri migrants whose number is 29804. All these seats are scattered across Pakistan. This essentially means there was polling for only 33 berths in PaK territory. Overall the total electorate was at 3220546 of which, according to Pakistani media 62 per cent participated. Of these 12 berths, located across Pakistan outside PaK, PTI won nine, PPP one and PML-N won 2.
In the second phase now eight reserved seats will be nominated to the Muzaffarabad House. Of the eight seats, five are reserved for women and three seats, one each for religious scholars, technocrats, and Kashmiri diaspora. It is not known if the nominated seats have voting rights or not but all these berths are normally filled by the party ruling Islamabad.
Barrister Sultan Mahmood was expected to lead the government. He heads the PTI in PaK. He has won almost all the 11 elections he contested from a Mirpur seat, barring two polls in 1991 and 2016. However, he is facing a challenge from an influential greenhorn, Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, who has been a special assistant to Punjab Chief Minister. Dawn reported that Imran Khan will take the final decision about who will head the government.
PPP and PML-N have rejected the results. They are accusing PTI of rigging the polls. “I have not accepted the results and will not. I have not even acknowledged the results of this fake government. Congratulations to the workers and voters. What will be the course of action on this shameless fraud, the party will decide soon, God willing,” Maryam Nawaz tweeted. Bilawal Bhutto, in a tweet, said that PTI resorted to violence and rigging in the elections and Election Commission failed to take action against it.
Raja Farooq Haider, the incumbent premier of the territory, who lost one of the two seats he was contesting from Muzaffarabad division, has attacked the mentality of Kashmiris. ARY News quoted him saying that the Kashmiri people are marred with the mentality of slavers for the past 250 years.