MIRPUR (AJK) - Accusing the AJK Chief Secretary and Inspector General of Police of manoeuvring rigging in the Saturday by-election to the AJK Legislative Assembly from LA-22 (Baloch constituency of Sudhanoti district), AJK Prime Minister Ch Abdul Majeed Sunday announced returning the services of both the officers to the Pakistani government, it was officially announced.

According to an official communiqué issued by the AJK PM Press Secretary Sunday afternoon, PM C Majeed blamed both the officers - Chief Secretary Khizer Hayat Gondal and the IG of Police Malik Khuda Bakhsh Awan of having been involved in rigging in by-elections to constituency LA-22 Baloch Town of Sudhanoti district in Poonch division allegedly on the behest of Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ch Barjees Tahir to facilitate the PML-N nominee Sardar Farooq Tahir to win the election.

The AJK Premier also accused both the top officers of deploying paramilitary troops of Rangers from Punjab in the constituency unconstitutionally on the day of polling without prior permission from the AJK government.

“Your services are no more required to the AJK government”, the Premier informed both the officials through in an official order. At the same time, AJK PM Ch Abdul Majeed has demanded Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif to initiate stringent action against the federal Minister Kashmir Affairs, the AJK CS and the IG Police for allegedly having been involved to influencing the Saturday (Feb 22) by-election.

PML-N AJK wins LA-22 by-polls : The PML-N AJK won the by-election to AJK Legislative Assembly from constituency LA-22, Baloch Town in Sudhonoti district, by defeating candidate of ruling People’s Party with a thumping majority.

Victorious PML N’s candidates Sardar Farooq Tahir beat his nearest rival Sardar Fahim Akhtar Rabbani, with a margin of 4,676 votes in the by-polls held on Saturday in a free, fair and impartial manner, announced AJK Election Commission.

Announcing official results, AJK Chief Election Commissioner Justice Munir Ahmed Ch told this scribe on the telephone that PML-N candidate remained atop by securing 23,987 votes and won the election. Similarly, AJK PP’s Sardar Fahim Akhtar Rabani secured 19,311 votes and Muslim Conference candidate Farooq Malik bagged 1876 votes.

The CEC said that overall turnout in polling remained 55 percent. To a question, Justice Munir said that the election were held in absolutely free, and fair manner in peaceful atmosphere except a minor incident of disturbance at a polling station during polling.

It is to be noted here that the seat had fallen vacant following the death of the AJK PP Legislator from the constituency Sardar Akhtar Hussain Rabbani on December 25, last year.

Besides the ruling People’s Party, the PML-N and MC, the PTIO also fielded its candidate for the by-election in LA-22.