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PTI demands army supervise elections in Gilgit-Baltistan

JAMIL NAGRI — Published in Dawn

GILGIT: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Thursday demanded the holding of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly elections under the army’s supervision to check possible rigging.

“As the PML-N-led federal government has planned to rig the upcoming (GB) legislative assembly elections through the regional government installed by it, we want the army troops deployed at and outside polling stations to ensure that the imminent electoral exercise is conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner,” PTI central secretary general Jahangir Tareen told Dawn.

Earlier in the day, Tareen wrote a letter to Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Election Commissioner Tahir Ali Shah to seek the holding of elections in the region under the army’s supervision.

In the letter, the PTI leader alleged that GB Governor Barjees Tahir, who was also the federal minister for Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, and Benazir Income Support Programme chairperson Marvi Memon were involved in pre-poll rigging in the region.

He said the GB governor had announced various development projects in the region and was even participating in the groundbreaking ceremonies of many schemes to benefit the candidates favoured by the PML-N.

Tareen said the governor had transferred numerous civil servants before posting his blue-eyed ones to key posts on the recommendation of the PML-N-backed candidates.

“The Governor’s House itself is being used as the PML-N election office. The PML-N GB chapter’s meetings are regularly held there in a blatant violation of the governor’s role of neutrality,” he said.

The PTI leader said the BISP chairperson, who belonged to the PML-N, recently visited GB and distributed BISP forms to people at the behest of the PML-N favoured candidates in clear violation of the election code of conduct.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2015

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