Opposition’s allegations of pre-poll rigging in GB rejected

Published November 15, 2020
Information Minister Shibli Faraz addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV/File
Information Minister Shibli Faraz addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: Rejecting allegations of pre-poll rigging in Gilgit-Baltistan, Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said on Saturday that the opposition had already conceded its defeat in the GB elections being held on Sunday (today).

Addressing a press conference at the Press Information Department here, he said the opposition’s allegation was proof that it was trying to find an excuse for its “imminent defeat”.

He said the GB people wanted to know about the development projects the opposition parties had been claiming they had launched in the region during their tenure in office.

He said candidates of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) would win the elections for the GB Assembly.

The minister appreciated the GB people for actively participating in the election campaign in a peaceful manner. He also thanked the GB people for welcoming and responding to messages of the leaders and candidates of the ruling PTI.

“The people want to know why the opposition has not been able to resolve the issues that they themselves have highlighted during the election campaign,” he added.

Shibli says opposition is trying to find excuse for its ‘imminent defeat’

He said the enthusiastic response of the GB people reflected that they had given their verdict in PTI’s favour. The people of the region during their participation in the campaign expressed their desire to take part in the development of GB.

Mr Faraz alleged that the opposition parties which ruled the region in the past did nothing for the prosperity of its people. He criticised the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), saying that it had completely ignored the GB people when it was ruling the region. The tenure of the PML-N government ended recently, he said, adding now the people wanted to know what it would do for them in the future.

The information minister claimed the opposition had conceded its defeat in the GB elections as now it was raising a hue and cry over alleged rigging as an excuse for its defeat in the polls.

Answering a question about the allegations of rigging by the opposition parties, the minister said that the PTI was a party which struggled for free and transparent elections in the past and even staged a long sit-in for this purpose. He said the PTI led efforts for legislation which could ensure transparent elections in the country and it forced the previous PML-N government to introduce electoral reforms. A special electoral committee was formed to introduce reforms for ensuring transparency in the election process, he added.

“The opposition parties accept only the election results where they win, otherwise, they create a drama about rigging,” he said.

The information minister requested the media to extensively cover the GB elections. “The election campaign has proved that the GB people have expressed their love for Imran Khan,” he said, adding, “Prime Minister Imran Khan is the future of Pakistan”.

Mr Faraz criticised the opposition parties, saying that they were not democratic parties. Without naming anyone, he said the leadership of a political party was asking a state institution to help it in sending an elected government home. This political party which claimed to be a democratic party wanted to insult the public mandate. Calling the PML-N a “hereditary party”, he said its claim of being a democratic party was “fake”.

LoC violations

The information minister strongly condemned the Indian violations at the Line of Control (LoC).

He said the Pakistan government would raise the issue of LoC violations by Indian armed forces at international forums.

The minister claimed that the country’s economy was on the right path and that good news on economic fronts would come soon. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic the country’s economic situation showed a significant improvement, he said, adding that prices of petroleum products were moving down, industrial production was improving and the local currency was gaining ground.

He claimed that inflation was also on the decline and prices of various commodities would further be decreased

The minister felicitated the Hindu community on the occasion of Diwali.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2020

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