Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday said he believed that transparent, free and fair elections would have an impact on the other side of the divide, referring to Indian Kashmir.
Addressing an election campaign rally of PPP candidates in Palandri, the prime minister said Kashmir was Pakistan’s jugular vein and political, moral and diplomatic support for its freedom would continue “forever.”
“We want to convey the message to our brethren across the border (Indian Kashmir) that you decide your fate,” he said while assuring that free and transparent elections would take place in AJK on June 26.
Gilani added that after the implementation of 7th NFC award, it was now the responsibility of the federal government to develop AJK, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan as all financial resources were given to the provinces and no province would share its resources with other provinces or with AJK.
“I promise you, I will come back after this election and whatever the results, I will fulfill all of your demands, including medical colleges, roads, provision of gas” Gilani told the rally.
He further added that residents from AJK had boosted foreign remittances which indirectly contributed to welfare across the country and the government wanted AJK to benefit from these remittances too. He appreciated the withdrawal of eight independent candidates in favour of PPP nominees in the area.
Former prime minister Sultan Mehmood Choudhary , PPP MNA Choudhary Manzoor also addressed the rally which was attended by AJK president Raja Zulqarnain Khan and Federal Minister Manzoor Wattoo.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2011.