PAKISTAN NEWS: Former Pakistani Prime Minister opposes government’s request to delay PoK elections

Former Pakistani prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Monday said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had rejected the government’s request to delay the upcoming vote in Kashmir (PoK) in Pakistan because of Covid-19.

Pakistan’s Coronavirus National Security and Operation Center (NCOC) on Sunday called for a postponement of the next PoK elections by two months.

In a letter to the PoK’s chief electoral commission, the NCOC stated that due to the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country, voting should be delayed, citing the spread of the virus due to political rallies.

Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, Ashraf stressed that the PPP would not allow the government to steal people’s authority, reports The News International. “The PPP rejects the decision to delay and violate the election,” he said.

The former prime minister said a clear, impartial and timely election in PoK should be held and that the government would reap what it sowed.

Meanwhile, PPP leader and Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said the PoK Constitution was clear and the election would not be delayed, no matter what, suspecting the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to be used as a “arm-twisting tool”, Dawn reported.

Gani noted that all by-elections in Pakistan were held on time and now the postponement of the elections at PoK polling stations meant that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was fleeing the democratic election process.

Earlier on Sunday, PoK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider accused the Pakistani government of Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of seeking to achieve the desired results in the PoK elections.

He also pointed out that no matter what the Prime Minister does, PoK will never be a province. “PoK elections can only be postponed if there is external violence,” said Prime Minister Farooq Haider.

He added that there was no reason to postpone voting as by-elections were held in the country despite the disease.

Last year, the government of Imran Khan announced to give the province a temporary position, which was not well received by many Gilgit-Baltistan people who were protesting against Islamabad’s decision to merge an illegally occupied region with the rest of Pakistan.

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