PEOPLE of Azad Kashmir have reposed trust in the leader ship of PTI by giving a clear-cut majority to the Party in the hotly contested 25 July election.
PTI is all set to form the next government in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on its own, as it bagged 25 out of 45 seats and the tally is likely to go up further when position about special seats becomes clear.
The landslide victory of PTI is in line with the projections made in a Gallup survey that the Party would win most of the seats in the election.
According to the survey, PTI Chairman and Premier Imran Khan emerged as the “most trusted” political leader in the survey as sixty-seven per cent respondents expressed a positive rating about him as a leader.
This was also confirmed by the largely attended public meetings that the PM addressed in the last days of the election campaign in the liberated territory where he made announcements that won approval of the voters.
It is because of this that in his victory speech, President of AJK chapter of PTI Barrister Sultan Mahmood attributed the victory to the ‘vision of the Prime Minister’.
It is also a fact that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s rating increased among Kashmiris for his strong defence of the cause of Kashmiri people and the road-map he has given for the uplift of Azad Kashmir.
It is encouraging that the elections were widely contested as a total of 691 candidates, including 381 belonging to 32 registered political parties and 310 independent candidates enthusiastically participated and the voters’ turnout was also above fifty percent.
PPP, which bagged second position and PML(N), which could not defend its power and even lagged behind the PPP in the numbers race, have expressed serious concerns over results of the elections levelling allegations of systematic rigging but the outcome of the polls for the Legislative Assembly is as per past practices as most of the elections were won by chapters of the parties in power in Pakistan.
However, the elections highlighted some of the issues that demand serious attention of the Election Commission as well as political parties and civil administration.
The election was marred by worst type of violence leading to deaths and injuries to workers of the rival parties besides personnel of law-enforcing agencies, use of bizarre language in public meetings, dubbing of each other as ‘Indian agent’ for the sake of petty politics, misuse of official machinery during campaign and apprehensions about voting and counting process.
These and other related issues need to be addressed by all stakeholders before the next general election in Pakistan so that their credibility is not questioned by any party.