AJK polls: Greater fairness needed

SARDAR Khalid Ibrahim Khan, President Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Party, has warned that official funds either of AJK, or Kashmir Council or of Federal Government must not be used for electoral purposes. Addressing party workers, he said this misuse of authority and official resources must be stopped forthwith.
Apart from Sardar Khalid Ibrahim, there have been statements from some other leaders as well in the backdrop of some visible moves by ruling parties in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad. There are genuine complaints that PML(N) Government and PPP’s AJK Government are misusing official resources to run their election campaigns. We have observed during the last several weeks that some Federal Ministers and leaders of PML(N) have been frequently visiting Azad Kashmir and addressing public gatherings there on official expense. In fact, media parties are also taken to cover these events on government expense. Similar complaints have also been made against PPP Government in Azad Kashmir for misuse of authority or official machinery for election purposes. We believe that these malpractices, which run against electoral laws, must come to an end as such practices amount to pre-poll rigging and denial of even-playing field to other contesting parties and candidates. Such feeling and irritations also pollute the peaceful atmosphere and send wrong message across the Line of Control. We have been emphasizing in these columns time and again that Azad Kashmir is base camp of legitimate freedom struggle of Kashmiri people and therefore, it should have a transparent governance system. Indians have been manipulating things on the other side of the LoC and therefore, there should be no impression of election manipulation on this side of the LoC.

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