The violence that marked the polling at several constituencies of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections held on Sunday raises serious questions about the conduct of the very practitioners of democracy in the country. If nothing, it tends to reinforce the impression that some elitist circles already have, and that is that the people of Pakistan, in their present state of backwardness and uncouthness, do not qualify for as modern a system as representative democracy. After all, the liberal use of anything that came handy bamboo rods, sticks and chairs as weapons against the opponents that one witnessed at quite a few polling stations in Lahore and elsewhere is hardly a demonstration of civilised behaviour. It clearly shows a high sense of intolerance of the opposition, which negates the very fundamental principle of the philosophy on which democracy rests. That our leaders and their supporters are devoid of this quality and yet claim to be the champions of democracy that, they claim, is taking root in the country because of their untiring efforts, should put them to shame. One would very much like to hope that by the time the rescheduled polls are held, saner counsels would have prevailed and the day would pass peacefully. The results so far announced by the AJK Election Commission give the PPP a simple majority in the Legislative Assembly, with 21 seats out of a house of 41; the PML-N coming second, with the success of 10 of its candidates; and the Muslim Conference getting the third position with four seats. Any party, parties or independent candidates winning the elections from the constituencies where they have been postponed would make no difference to the majority position that the PPP has already acquired. But that position puts the PPP on trial; for it would have to openly take an unambiguous pro-Kashmiri line about the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. It can no longer adopt a policy of going out of the way to please the US by normalising relations with India to the neglect of the issue that concerns the local population the most intimately. At present, the PPP as the government representing the country appears quite indifferent to the kind of solution that India, with help from its newfound promoter, would like to impose. While running Azad Kashmir affairs, it cannot conceivably strike a different posture at two different places. While the expected shift should be welcome to the patriotic Pakistanis it is important to bring out that ideally, the political parties in Pakistan should not have meddled with the Azad Kashmir politics and should have let the local political parties run the show. For the part of Kashmir not under the control of India remains a separate territory from Pakistan till the UN-sponsored plebiscite is held. The outcome in favour of Pakistan, though, of that plebiscite in the entire state is foregone conclusion.