ISLAMABAD: PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has condemned the federal government for what he called carrying out pre-poll rigging in Azad Jammu and Kashmir ahead of general elections.

“By selectively doling out development funds to candidates belonging only to the PML-N, the federal government has resorted to the worst form of pre-poll rigging which must not be allowed,” he said in a statement issued here on Sunday.

“The Pakistan People’s Party condemns this devious scheme to manipulate elections and demands this illegal practice to be stopped immediately,” he said.

Mr Bilawal said that announcing development projects at this point and doling out funds to PML-N candidates was tantamount to buying votes. “Distributing the Kashmir Council funds among favourites is an insult to the mandate of the people,” the PPP leader declared.

He said that he was shocked by devious methods adopted by the federal government to manipulate elections in AJK.

“There also are disturbing reports that non-Kashmiri Pakistani citizens living elsewhere in the country have been registered as voters in various constituencies in connivance with some federal government agencies,” he alleged.

He said that adding new voters in the lists sent by Azad Kashmir Election Commission was not in the domain of Nadra.

“The PPP wishes to put on notice all departments to be careful and not to give in to inducements or threats that may be hurled at them to rig elections in Azad Kashmir,” he said.

Mr Bilawal said that it appeared that the PML-N leadership had not learnt any lesson from its past mistakes and it was bent upon repeating them, adding that the PPP would not permit any gerrymandering in elections.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2016

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