KARACHI: Even as leaders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are attributing the recent victory in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) elections to the trust and confidence invested by people in the incumbent government, the two runner-up parties in the polls have a different take on the issue.

The Pakistan People’s Party has out rightly described the AJK elections as massively rigged; however, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) congratulated the Nawaz Sharif-led government but attributed their victory to being in power in the Centre.

PPP Media Cell issued a statement on Friday saying, “Pakistan People’s Party AJK chapter has rejected the AJK election results held due to massive rigging and manipulations.”

It further said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has decided to consult with party leadership and the Central Executive Committee to “devise future course of action over the issue”.

Meanwhile, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari also termed the AJK election results as “over-cooked”.

PTI chairman Imran Khan said traditionally the party holding strength in Islamabad tends to win the AJK elections; however, he would “still like to congratulate PML-N over its victory”.

Imran congratulated the PTI candidates who won their seats and also those candidates “who put up a great fight against heavy odds in AJK elections”.

PTI Central Information Secretary Naeem ul Haque said, “AJK results prove once again that it is difficult to beat the ruling party. But PTI needs to re examine its strategy there.”

Further clarifying the party position, PTI leader Ali Mohammad Khan said PTI was competing the AJK elections for the first time and it did so with courage and a desire to succeed.

He congratulated PML-N over its success in the polls.

The special assistant to prime minister, Syed Asif Kirmani, said the failure of PPP government to serve the masses in Azad Kashmir during its tenure made way for PML-N to secure majority seats in the Legislative Assembly.

“People were fed up of their incompetence and corruption. They were deprived of basic facilities during last five years, so they vented their ire on Peoples Party in AJK election through their right to vote,” he said in an interview with the state broadcaster.

PML-N emerged as the single largest party in the AJK elections, winning 31 seats in the 41 members Legislative Assembly.

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