NOWSHERA/ MINGORA/ UPPER DIR/ PARACHINAR/ MARDAN: Voting was held in K-P for the Kashmiri population living in the province and the adjoining tribal areas to elect their representatives to Kashmir’s legislative assembly. The process was nearing its completion at the filing of this report on Thursday.
In Upper Dir, unofficial results showed a tight contest between PTI, JI and JUI-F in the polling of three districts.
Tight security measures were taken on the occasion and most of the polling stations were under the observation of security forces. The police and BDU personnel were at hand to tackle any incident.
In Nowshera district, there were two polling stations, one in Risalpur and the second in the Cantonment area. The total registered number of voters in the district was 254 of which 79 cast their ballots at the government high school for boys in Nowshera and 65 in Risalpur.
According to unofficial results, in Risalpur, JI’s Noorul Bari claimed victory with 40 votes, while PTI’s Abdul Majid was second with 21 votes. In the Cantonment area of Nowshera, PTI’s candidate was in the lead with nine votes.
Meanwhile in Mardan, two polling stations were set up at the government girls’ high school for 151 registered voters in the district.
The unofficial result showed independent candidate Zaghir Khan won the election.
In Upper Dir, the total number of registered voters was 60 of which 13 turned up to cast their ballots. According to unofficial results, the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference stood first and PML-N was just behind.
In Fata, there were just two registered voters in Parachinar, Kurram Agency for whom 25 security personnel were deployed and four election staff.
For the two voters of the area, a polling station was established in Sadda, Kurram Agency, the second biggest town of the area. According to Agency Election Officer Nasarullah, only two voters were registered to vote for LA-35 AJK-6.
However, only one of them, Abdul Qadeer Khan, turned up and cast his vote as the other, Ishaq Khan, had already gone to Kashmir. Therefore, the turnout in the area was the highest at 50%.
In Hangu, there were 31 registered voters of which 23 were men and eight women. Voting started 8am in the Government High School for Boys Hangu. According to unofficial results, Raja Muhammad Saddiqi led the results with 10 votes, while independent candidate, Muhammad Razzaq, took six and was second.
The only female candidate for the legislative assembly, Gul Nar, stood third with one vote. This was the first time a woman stood for elections from the region. The Kashmiri population of Swat also cast their votes for the elections.
People were actively participating in voting for LA-41 and LA-35 VI (Jammu) constituencies. They polled their votes at stations established in Mingora, Matta and Bahrain areas of Swat district.
Polling started at 8am and continued till 5pm. According to unofficial results, JI bagged 107 votes, PTI managed 91 and Pakistan Peoples Party secured 54 votes. Around 350 Kashmiri families were settled in Swat district.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2016.
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