PML-N issues tickets to its candidates for Gilgit-Baltistan polls

Updated 12 Oct 2020

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In this file photo, Ahsan Iqbal speaks to reporters in Lahore. ─DawnNewsTV
In this file photo, Ahsan Iqbal speaks to reporters in Lahore. ─DawnNewsTV

NAROWAL: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has issued party tickets to 18 candidates for the Nov 16 elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Talking to media here on Sunday, PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal announced the names of the candidates.

He said that former chief minister Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman would be the candidate from GB Constituency No 2 (CN-2).

He said that the former chief minister had provided exemplary leadership to GB in the last five years and did record development work.

Mr Iqbal said that Zulfiqar Ali will run for CN-3, Engineer Arif Hussain (CN-4), Sajjad Hussain (CN-5), Rehan Shah (CN-6), Haji Akbar (CN-7), Advocate Ghulam Hussain (CN-10), Engineer Shabbir Hussain (CN-11), Mohammad Tahir (CN-12), Rana Farman Ali (CN-13), Abdul Wahid Wajid (CN-15), Engineer Mohammad Anwar (CN-16), Mr Alam (CN-17), Atif Salman (CN-19), Raza-ul-Haq (CN-21), Ghulam Hussain (CN-23) and Engineer Manzoor Hussain (CN-24).

Constituency No 18 and CN-22 have been left open.

The PML-N secretary general said that party tickets for other constituencies would be issued later.

Ahsan Iqbal says his party is striving hard to give GB people their right to representation

He said that the people of GB had made many sacrifices for Pakistan. “There is hardly a village in GB without a martyr’s grave. GB is of great importance to Pakis­tan. It is the gateway to China and Pakistan.”

Mr Iqbal said that GB had a key role to play in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. He said that the PML-N was working hard to give the people of GB their right to representation, and the people could get this right only through clean and fair elections.

He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government had harmed the country’s stance on Kashmir and now it was playing with the future of GB.

He said that Nawaz Sharif’s government had doubled the development budget of GB.

It may be mentioned that GB Chief Election Commissioner Raja Shahbaz Khan said on Saturday that there was no justification for the hue and cry being raised by some political leaders about “expected rigging” in the GB polls.

In an apparent response to PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s apprehensions about the possibility of rigging in GB polls, Mr Khan asked the leaders to identify any flaws in the electoral process and said “we will fix it”.

“Local leaders of political parties are satisfied with arrangements for GB elections,” the official said at a press conference in Gilgit.

He said that the prime minister of Pakistan and federal ministers were not allowed to participate in GB election campaign.

He suggested that leaders from outside GB should avoid going there to ensure peaceful elections.

On Friday, the Pakistan Peoples Party chairman had warned that any move to rig GB polls would lead to a strong reaction from his party, including a siege of Islamabad and a sit-in in the city.

Addressing a press conference at Bilawal House in Karachi, he welcomed signals from the quarters concerned regarding peaceful and transparent ­elections in GB. However, should the assurances fail to materialise, the PPP chairman was clear about his party’s strategy.

“If anyone tries to rig these polls I personally along with people of GB would move to Islamabad. We would be on the streets of Islamabad and won’t return till justice is done,” he vowed.

The PML-N had also warned the federal government against making any efforts to rig the GB polls.

“The interest of Pakistan lies in free, fair and transparent elections in GB. Pakistan cannot afford to have any political controversy in GB which has already become a flashpoint in the region and many countries are eyeing it to get benefit,” said PML-N secretary general Iqbal at a press conference a couple of weeks ago.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2020