PPP will opt for all its legal options against the 'open and naked rigging' in Gilgit-Baltistan polls: Bilawal Bhutto

ANI
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PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari
PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari

Islamabad [Pakistan], November 17 (ANI): Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will opt for all its legal options against the "open and naked rigging" in the Gilgit-Baltistan elections, said party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

Dawn quoted Bilawal as saying at a press conference that results were manipulated "overnight" for elections on seats that the PPP was winning and the party was declared to have lost them during the day.

He further said that PPP candidate Jameel Ahmed had been winning the election by 1,000 votes "but this morning [Monday] an attempt was being made to hand over that seat to PTI by two votes".

Dawn further reported the PPP leader as saying Forms-45 were not matching in the contest that Ahmed was a part of, and the PPP candidate would lose only if the Election Commission's forms were considered, which he alleged "did not bear the signatures of polling agents and were without attested documents".

Bilawal said that similar complaints have been received from all over Gilgit-Baltistan.

"In GB-13, no polling took place at all in two villages [and] weather was made an excuse. Our first demand will be that the election on that seat is not complete until everyone has been allowed to cast their vote," he said.

Bilawal shared what he termed his party's "strong reservations" in GBLA-18, where he claimed "women have been disenfranchised and not allowed to vote", Dawn said.

"The way [ballots] were stamped there in order to meet the 10 per cent threshold, as part of a muk-muka (covert deal), that seat too would be going towards re-election if the Election Commission had been working as per the law," the PPP leader said.

He also said that the ballot boxes were stolen in GBA-21 from where Ayub Shah fought the election on a PPP ticket.

"How can the so-called Election Commission ignore this kind of open and naked rigging? How can they ignore the theft of votes of this area's people?" he added.

Meanwhile, India has slammed Islamabad for its decision to hold elections in the illegally occupied region of Gilgit-Baltistan, saying that any action to alter the status of the region has no legal basis.

Earlier this year, the Pakistan Supreme Court allowed Islamabad to amend a 2018 administrative order to conduct general elections in the region.

After the verdict, India issued a demarche to Pakistani officials in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest over the apex court ruling.

India also conveyed to Pakistan that the entire Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of the country. (ANI)