Muzaffarabad - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz obtained landslide victory in AJK elections while PTI AJK chief Barrister Sultan Mehmood and most of the ministers lost elections.

Chief of Muslim Conference and former AJK prime minister sardar Attique Ahmed khan won election from Dheer-Bagh.

With its landslide victory the PML N has emerged as single largest party by securing 32 out of 41 seats, coming into a position to form its government in Muzaffarabad without any other party’s help.

Muslim Conference won three seats. PPP, which was expected to be second in the race and had fielded highest number of candidates, fared poorly as it could secure only two seats.

PTI, believed to emerge as third largest party, could also score only two seats – that too from refugee constituencies.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif extended congratulations to the winners and people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on the peaceful conduct of elections.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf conceded defeat and Chairman Imran Khan congratulated PML-N on its win, though he said ruling party at Centre in Pakistan always wins elections in AJK.

According to unofficial and incomplete results, PML-N AJK chief and opposition leader Raja Farooq Hadier, Secretary General Shah Ghulam Qadir and his son Asad Aleem, and Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party chief Khalid Ibrahim have won the polls.

Only Prime Minister Choudhary Abdul Majeed could defend his seat among the key candidates of ruling PPP AJK. PPP Secretary General and Finance Minister, Choudhary Lateef Akbar is also among the loosers.

Almost 20 of PPP ministers lost their seats in Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Rawalakot, Kotli and Mirpur and Bhimber districts. They included Bazil Naqvi, Choudhary Rasheed, Mian waheed, Lateef Akbar, Qamar Zaman, Farzana Yaqub, Javed Budhanvi, Matloob Inqalabi, Afsar Shahid, Pervaiz Ashraf, Azhar Gillani, javed Ayub.

The Thursday elections were held in a peaceful atmosphere under army surveillance. A total of 423 candidates, including those belonging to various political parties and independents, were in the race.

The majority of both male and female registered voters used their right to vote with a great enthusiasm to elect the members of AJK Legislative Assembly for the next five years. Voting was held in all 41 constituencies, including 29 of AJK and 12 meant for Pakistan-based Jammu & Kashmir refugees.

Win of Democracy

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a statement issued in Islamabad congratulated winning candidates and expressing his satisfaction on the peaceful conduct of polls calling it a win of democratic forces.

“The peaceful elections in AJK is a win of democratic forces and it explicitly reflects the peoples’ faith in democracy. Winning or losing is part of elections, but the important thing for a vibrant democracy is the continuity of the process”, his office quoted the PM as saying.

He expressed the confidence that newly elected representatives of AJK would reinforce their support to the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir in their just struggle for independence.

“Irrespective of the political divide; all Pakistanis are united in the unwavering support for the freedom struggle of our Kashmiri brethren,” emphasised the prime minister.

In the scenario of the much-prolonged Kashmir issue, AJK government politically enjoys the status of the representative government of the entire Jammu & Kashmir state, including the liberated AJK territory, occupied Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan-based Jammu & Kashmir refugees.

Electorate

A big chunk of a total 2.674 million registered voters – 1.228 million males and 1.006 million females – in all 29 constituencies in the 10 districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and most of a total of 438,884 registered voters – 254,817 males and 184,067 females –  in all the 12 constituencies meant for Pakistan-based Jammu & Kashmir refugees moved to their stipulated polling stations in their respective constituencies and exercised their right of franchise to elect their representatives to the AJK Legislative Assembly. A total of 5,429 polling stations with 8,008 booths had been set up in all the 41 constituencies.

How it went

The polling started at 8am in the morning which continued till 5pm without any pause. The registered voters produced the original computerised national identity cards to the staff of their respective polling stations at the time of exercising their right to vote.

The entire election process was directly supervised by Pakistan Army and paramilitary Rangers and FC with the coordination of the local civil law-enforcement institutions, including AJK, Punjab and KP police.

CEC Media Talk

The elections were held in a free, fair and peaceful manner as no major untoward incident occurred in any constituency, AJK Chief Election Commissioner Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mughal told media persons at Mirpur Cricket Stadium as he visited different polling stations.

Justice Mughal termed the elections historic because of their holding in an absolutely peaceful, conducive and transparent environment. The CEC said those involved in minor unpleasant incidents at a few polling stations were booked on the spot and punitive action was initiated against them.

The CEC informed that an activist of a party died from heat stroke during the polling.