PTI trying to ignite tensions to postpone elections: AJK minister

‘They are provoking emotions and creating law and order situation across the state,’ said Farooq

Our Correspondent June 04, 2021


Senior Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Chaudhry Tariq Farooq admitted on Thursday that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in AJK could not properly use the situation in favour of the oppressed Kashmiris in the wake of August 5, 2019 developments in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Answering questions at Dialogue with Capital Journalists Forum - an organisation comprising AJK-based senior journalists - Farooq said he had personally conveyed the idea of chalking out a joint strategy to former premier Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan, Jammat-e-Islami leader Abdur Rashid Turabi and Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider but none pursued it.

Recalling that he had recommended to the leaders to organise massive sit-ins at divisional headquarters across AJK to express solidarity with IIOJK people, the senior minister said, “Both the leaders, as well as premier Haider, did not pick the idea.”

Replying to a question regarding the upcoming general elections in AJK, Farooq accused the rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of igniting tensions to put the elections on hold.

“Earlier PTI tried in vain to get the polls postponed in the name of Covid-19 pandemic and now they want to achieve this target by provoking emotions and creating law and order situation across the state,” said Farooq, who is also PML-N's senior vice president in AJK.

Also read Abbasi sees sinister designs behind delaying AJK polls

Farooq further said that character assassination and usage of abusive language against PML-N nominees would not bring PTI anything except ruining the traditions of tolerance and social harmony that had been the hallmark of AJK’s politics.

The leader said the AJK chapter of PTI was facing serious friction and infighting and had failed to do any homework for the elections because it was expecting victory with the majority at the plate.

“During the past three or so years, neither did we deliberately tread on the course of confrontation with the PTI-led federal government nor did we allow our differences swell beyond a certain limit because our enemy India does not miss any chance to exploit even an inconsequential controversy between Islamabad and Muzaffarabad,” he said.

Farooq said the PML-N government in AJK was going to complete its 5-year term next month without any major issue.

On the question of Islamabad’s historical meddling in AJK’s elections and speculations that only Islamabad-approved parties could form government in the state, Farooq assured that 2021 elections would reverse the trend.

“Unlike PTI, we enjoy unity, harmony, and unflinching commitment to our leadership. We have popular and influential candidates in all constituencies who will win elections on the basis of the performance of the PML-N government,” he asserted.

The senior minister said that the PML-N government had introduced the National Testing System (NTS) for appointments in the education department, in addition to building the credibility of the Public Service Commission PSC.


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