KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party-Azad Jammu and Kashmir (PPP-AJK) on Sunday night emerged victorious on an Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly seat, LA-40, reserved for refugees of occupied valley living in 24 districts of Sindh and Balochistan.
According to unofficial results, PPP-AJK candidate Amir Abdul Ghaffar Lone won the election by bagging 2,165 votes against Saleem Butt of rival Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-AJK who got 875 votes followed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Tahir Ali Wani (442).
Other candidates are Shabbir Ahmed Khan of the Pak Sarzameen Party-AJK (16 votes), Abdul Rehman Gasi of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (five), independent candidates Ghulam Muhammad (three) and Muhammad Bashir Khan (one).
Total votes were 5,327 and 3,548 of them exercised their right to franchise. The turnout was recorded at 66.6 per cent. A total of seven candidates were contesting the election but the actual contest was between the PPP and PTI.
Rivals clash in Hyderabad, election camps uprooted in maiden incident
Earlier, polling on two seats for the AJK Legislative Assembly — LA-40 (Valley) and LA-34 (Jammu-1) — general election was held in Karachi from 8am to 5pm without any interval.
The LA-34 constituency comprises voters living in 48 districts of Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab where the number of total registered voters is 17,761. Of them, 1,027 voters were in Sindh, 546 in Balochistan and 16,188 voters were from Punjab.
The main contest on LA-34 Jammu was between PTI’s Chaudhry Riaz Ahmed and PML-N’s Nasir Hussain Dar. PPP’s Zahid Iqbal, PSP’s Shah Abdul Latif Faisal and 10 others were also in the run.
According to unofficial results, PTI candidate won the seat by securing 4,559 votes against PML-N’s Dar who got 4,221 votes.
In Karachi, the total number of voters for the two constituencies was 3,860. Twenty-one polling stations were set up for LA-40 and 13 polling stations were established for LA-34 in all districts of Karachi.
Strict security arrangements were made and police and paramilitary Rangers were patrolling the areas to avoid any untoward incident.
The PPP candidate Amir Abdul Ghaffar Lone cast his vote at a polling station set up in Gulshan-i-Iqbal. He was hopeful about a good turnout since the polling was held on Sunday. He said he did not receive any serious complaint from anywhere.
An unpleasant situation was witnessed in GOR Colony, Hyderabad, when activists of the PPP and PTI started raising slogans against each other at their camps.
While the polling was held largely in a peaceful manner, activists of rival political parties clashed with each other at some places.
Outside the Kotwal building polling station, PPP and PTI workers engaged in a brawl and enraged PPP activists allegedly uprooted election camps of the PTI, PSP and PML-N candidates, pelted their opponents with stones that damaged some vehicles as well.
The PPP and PTI traded allegation of rigging against each other with the latter blaming the former of using government machinery in its favour.
In Hyderabad, one and three polling stations were set up for voters in LA-34 and LA-40 constituencies, respectively. Sixteen and 149 voters cast their votes on the two constituencies, respectively.
There are 12 constituencies representing refugees from occupied Jammu and Kashmir Valley settled across the country. Around 373,652 are registered in the six constituencies representing the refugees from occupied Jammu and 29,804 are registered in the six constituencies representing the refugees from occupied Kashmir Valley.
Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2021