PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday lashed out at the PTI government for "rigging" the Gilgit-Baltistan elections, saying "no one in Pakistan was ready to accept the fake result" of GB polls.
"Despite stealing PML-N nominees, despite stealing elections, despite posting officials of all agencies in Gilgit-Baltistan for months, despite manipulation, how many seats did he get? Only eight," she said in a speech in Mansehra.
"Even those seats are not his, those seats are courtesy of PML-N nominees that were stolen," the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter said and added: "We won't congratulate Imran Khan for those eight seats, we congratulate the selectors."
Maryam said that she had stayed in GB for eight to 10 days for the election campaign and during that time the region was only voicing support for PML-N supremo Nawaz. She said that even though there was no internet in many remote areas of GB, people were aware of Nawaz's narrative of vote ko izzat do (give respect to vote). The PML-N vice president declared that Nawaz's "narrative had buried" the politics of the ruling PTI.
"It is because of Nawaz Sharif's narrative that despite a fixed match, you did not get a mandate, you only got crutches," she said.
In the 2018 general election, Maryam said, the "selected" was brought to power through rigging. "But today, the difference is that despite rigging, this fake (prime minister) could not win."
Maryam noted that it was often said that GB residents vote for the party that is in power in Islamabad. When PPP was in government, Maryam recalled, it won 14 seats in GB. Similarly, when PML-N was in power, it won 16 seats in GB and "did not need crutches to form a government" in the region. The PTI had only managed to win eight seats despite rigging, she insisted and added that the party members should "hide their faces after such an awful loss".
She said that in the recent election, GB residents had "voted for dignity" instead of their interests.
"Why would GB people vote for you (PTI)? What have you given to the rest of Pakistan that you would have given to Gilgit-Baltistan?"
The complete but unofficial results of all 23 constituencies, where polling was held on Sunday, show that the PTI has emerged as the single largest party with 10 seats, followed by seven independents. The PPP won three seats, the PML-N two and the Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen, which had a seat adjustment arrangement with the PTI, got one seat.
With the possible inclusion of four, out of six reserved seats for women, and two out of three reserved seats for technocrats, the total number of seats of the PTI and its allies will become 16 in the 33-member GBLA, indicating that it will need the support of only one more winning candidate to form the government.
Both PPP and PML-N have rejected the results and accused PTI of rigging the election.
'You are rejected'
Information Minister Shibli Faraz, in a press briefing today, dismissed the opposition's allegations, saying, "who are you to reject the results? What is your status?"
The federal minister went on to say: "People of Pakistan rejected you in 2018. Then in Gilgit-Baltistan, people badly rejected you. You are rejected people."
He said that opposition politicians who were levelling allegations of rigging had either been convicted by courts or were nominated in corruption cases.
"There is no example of the arrogance that you (opposition) are displaying in the history of Pakistani politics," he said. Without naming anyone, Faraz said that opposition figures who were delivering speeches had always sought power to benefit their businesses.
"Pakistan's people have thrown you, your politics, your narrative, your stance in a bin," the minister remarked. "You weren't even in the run for this election to make such speeches. Your poisonous narrative [to] defend your personal and family interests will not be acceptable to Pakistan's masses."
Faraz also commented on opposition alliance — the Pakistan Democratic Movement — and said that differences were already emerging among the parties which were part of PDM.