Clashes mar polling for AJK elections in Peshawar

Published July 26, 2021
There are two Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly constituencies in the province, with Peshawar alone having three polling stations. — AFP/File
There are two Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly constituencies in the province, with Peshawar alone having three polling stations. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: Elections for Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the newly merged tribal districts, remained peaceful except in Peshawar where clashes between rival groups led to temporary suspension of voting.

Polling staff temporarily suspended poling in the city constituency of LA-45 following clashes between supporters of Abdul Nasir Khan, an independent candidate, and PTI’s Abdul Majid. No one was hurt in the clashes and no damage was done to property.

There are two Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly constituencies in the province, with Peshawar alone having three polling stations. The Election Commission of Pakistan has set up 148 polling stations for men and 41 for women.

The number of registered voters in the province is 43,227, including 19,916 women.

None of registered voters cast vote in Charsadda, Lakki Marwat

The counting of votes started after the completion of ballot casting at the polling stations. Candidates having affiliation with the three major political parties -- PTI, PML-N and PPP -- and independents are contesting the polls.

According to reports, the process in the rest of the province remained peaceful.

In Dera Ismail Khan, PPP central information secretary Faisal Karim Khan Kundi accused federal minister of rigging the elections. He said that money was openly distributed by the federal ministers.

“Kashmir is a sensitive area and Kashmiris are sensitive people. If a conspiracy is hatched to steal their mandate, the results will not be good,” he added.

In Haripur, there were three polling stations -- two in Haripur city and one in Ghazi tehsil -- for 710 voters.

The voters cast their votes under tight security. At least 100 police personnel were deployed at the polling stations.

In Charsadda, there were six registered voters but not a single vote was cast as none of the voters turned up at the polling station. Two separate polling booths were set up for men and women voters in the ECP office. Interestingly elaborate security arrangements were made for the six voters and 61 police personnel were deployed there.

In Mansehra, initial reports suggested that PTI candidate Abdul Majid Khan secured maximum number of votes at most of the polling stations established in upper parts of Hazara division for LA-45 Valley 6 constituency.

The polling, which started at about 8am in Mansehra and Kohistan, remained peaceful except a brawl at women polling station in Shinkiari.

According to unofficial results, PTI’s Majid Khan was leading against his closest rival Khan Abdul Nasir Khan.

In Kohistan 15 of the total 17 votes were polled and the PTI candidate received 13. Independent candidate Khan Abdul Nasir bagged only two voters.

In Lakki Marwat, there were two women voters, who did not turn up at a polling station established for them in the ECP office.

Four candidates including Abdul Majid Khan of PTI, Ahmad Mushaid Mushtaq, Abdul Nasir Khan and Noorul Bari were in the run for the seat.

Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2021

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