GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan chapter of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has joined the chorus of voices asking the chief election commissioner to hold polls under the army’s supervision in all districts.
CEC Justice Tahir Ali Shah had recently said help will be sought from the army to ensure security during polling in Gilgit and Diamer districts but a similar decision for other districts would be taken on the basis of need.
However, while addressing a gathering in Gilgit on Tuesday, PML-N regional chief Hafizur Rehman said the army support should not be limited to two districts and should be sought for all of them.
Giving a reason for the party’s demand, Rehman said opposition parties are trying to make the elections controversial by accusing the governor and others of pre-poll rigging and such allegations can be countered if army overlooks the election.
Before PML-N, almost all political parties demanded army supervision for polling day as they feared PML-N would be involved in rigging.
Rehman added that since PML-N’s popularity in the region is growing, opponents have joined hands to bring the party down. “But that is not going to happen as people know who is who,” he added.
Rehman said those who had vested interests introduced sectarianism in Gilgit while others played the ethnic card in rural areas to achieve their ends.
Jirga announces support
A jirga, comprising 84 members from Sai, Chakarkot area announced their support for PML-N’s chief in the election. “Some elements tried to mislead people but we want to let it be known that we stand by Hafizur Rehman,” said the jirga’s president Maulana Nazeem.
Another jirga representative, Ghulam Muhammad, lauded the party’s regional chief for his leadership qualities and said only PML-N can solve their problems.
PPP leader quits
On the other hand, the estranged former finance minister, Muhammad Ali Akhtar, resigned from Pakistan Peoples Party on Tuesday.
Akhtar, who was also the president of Nagar district, had developed differences with the party’s leaders after he was ignored when the party tickets were allotted to candidates.
Information Secretary Rana Nazeem told journalists in Gilgit that Akhtar’s resignation has been accepted. “Instead of replying to the show-cause notice sent to him for violating party rules, Akhtar sent his resignation which was accepted,” added Nazeem.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2015.