Five killed as PPP, PML-N workers clash in AJK

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Pervaiz casts doubt on prospect of free, fair elections

Staff Reporter

Muzaffarabad—At least five people were killed after fierce clashes broke out between activists of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and the opposition Pakistan Muslim League -N in Azad Kashmir’s Haveli district on Sunday.
The clash broke out during an Eid Milan Party where activists of both parties opened indiscriminate firing which left several others, including former minister Chaudhry Aziz, injured.
The injured were rushed to local hospitals while funeral prayers of the deceased were offered.
Following the incident, enraged activists vandalised shops and public property, halting trading activity in many parts of the district.
The PML-N is observing a protest against the killing of its activists. According to DC Haveli, the PML-N has registered two cases against several PPP workers, including Minister for Power Faisal Rathore.
Meanwhile, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid on Sunday said the AJK Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) should play a role to ensure holding of free, fair and transparent elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
It was the responsibility of the AJK CEC to make such peaceful atmosphere where elections could be held in a peaceful manner without interference of the local administration, he added.
The minister was talking to the media along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr Asif Kirmani after visiting the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to enquire after the health of injured PML-N candidate from Haveli (AJK), Chaudhry Muhammad Aziz.
He said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidates were using government resources openly in their election campaigns with the support of local administration. With the support of sitting AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, he said the PPP had started violent politics prior to elections, realizing its confirmed defeat in the upcoming elections.
Ch Abdul Majeed’s statements were on record showing his threatening attitude to promote abusive and violent politics in the AJK, he added.
The minister said besides this incident in which two Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers lost their lives and many including the PML-N candidate received injuries, there was life attempt on Mushtaq Minhas, another PML-N candidate, in Bagh by the PPP supporters while they also damaged property of PML-N supporters in Nakiyal.
He said in the presence of PPP government led by Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, holding of free, fair and transparent election was doubtful as local official machinery was busy to fully back the PPP candidates.
He said those local administration officials, who were appointed by the AJK PPP government, were supporting the PPP candidates being shareholders of its corruption.
The minister said despite all the threats and use of government machinery, the AJK people would not vote for the PPP candidates and the PML-N would win the elections.
Rashid said it was the responsibility of local administration to avoid such incidents and take action against culprits, but the biased AJK police had failed to arrest those who were behind the incident.

He demanded of the AJK CEC to appoint those in administration who were not part of any political party and stop allowing political supportive and biased administration to do nepotism.

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