ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday alleged the Gilgit-Baltistan general election was stolen as the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf emerged as the single largest party.

“My election has been stolen. I will be joining the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in their protest shortly,” he tweeted before joining the protesters.

The PTI won the most seats in Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly elections – held on November 15– but failed to win an outright majority.

According to unofficial results, PTI secured nine seats while PPP won four seats, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) grabbed two seats, independent candidates won seven seats and Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen was victorious on one seat.

The PPP staged a sit-in against rigging in Gilgit Baltistan elections in front of the deputy commissioner’s office in Gilgit city. The PPP claimed its candidate Jamil Ahmed was leading by 400 votes last night in the final count but in the morning he was shown as trailing by 2 votes. 

Bilawal joined the protest and addressed the crowd gathered there. In his fiery speech he said that the PPP candidates were pressurized to leave the party and join the PTI but each and every one of them remained steadfast with the party except one. 

PPP chairman says if rigging is not reversed he will choose an extreme and difficult path but that will be the path to victory 

He said when the authorities witnessed the support for PPP by the people of GB from Siachen to Gilgit, they got worried. 

“The election commission started supporting the illegal acts of the PTI ministers. So much so that the chief election commissioner went to Islamabad and held a press conference in Islamabad against opposition instead of stopping government ministers from illegal acts. Even Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Gilgit,” he maintained.

The PPP Chairman said three seats were clearly snatched from the PPP but warned that no one will be allowed to do so. He said that PPP will continue its protest at every place where rigging has occurred. 

“We will not allow the puppet, the selected and the selectors to steal the elections. The selectors knew that PTI does not exist in Gilgit Baltistan. Everyone knows that the people of GB are with the PPP,” he added.

The PPP Chairman said that if the rigging was not reversed then he will choose an extreme and difficult path but that will be the path to victory. 

Meanwhile yesterday, PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bokhari said countrywide protests will be held against the ‘rigging’ in the GB polls.

“We will now allow the rulers to snatch our rights. The election was rigged and we will protest against it,” he said.

Bokhari said the PPP was in a very comfortable position in GB but the “riggers” changed the results overnight.

PML-N Vice-president Maryam Nawaz also alleged rigging and said it was “shameful” for the PTI not to get a simple majority in Gilgit-Baltistan elections despite use of “full state machinery.”

Maryam Nawaz, said neither PTI had any existence earlier in Gilgit-Baltistan nor does it has now and the few seats PTI got in this elections were because of rigging in the elections.

The PTI however, said the elections were held in a free and fair manner. Information Minister Shibli Faraz said the people were allowed to express their choice in a free environment.