'Naked' poll rigging in 'Azad Kashmir': Opposition
19 July 2006
Indo-Asian News Service
Islamabad: Losers of elections in Pakistan-held 'Azad Jammu and Kashmir' have urged President Pervez Musharraf that if he really supported self- rule in both parts of Jammu and Kashmir, he should look into the 'naked poll rigging' that took place last week.Musharraf has himself become a subject of the debate since the opposition alleged that he indicated his preference for the Muslim Conference (MC) by receiving its leader, long time president and prime minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, along with son Sardar Atiq.Sardar Atiq and his MC have emerged winners in the polls from which candidates refusing to sign a form owing allegiance to Pakistan were debarred.Qayyum is since reported to have said that Musharraf had lent support to him because he favours the province's accession to Pakistan. Jammu Kashmir People's Muslim League (JKPML) convenor Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry said that Sardar Qayyum Khan was not only making vain attempts to justify manipulation of election results but also hurting General Musharraf's position.'General Musharraf talks of self-governance in both parts of Kashmir. He should look into the AJK elections which have failed to provide people a fair chance to form a government of their choice,' Dawn newspaper quoted Chaudhry as saying.The opposition parties have alleged large-scale rigging of the polls, saying the federal government and its 'controlled institutions masterminded it'.The AJK chapter of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) convened a conference of political parties Thursday to discuss 'usurpation of the right of Kashmiris to elect their representatives on their free will' and to work out a strategy to launch a joint struggle against it.An MMA spokesman told Dawn in Muzaffarabad that the alliance had invited all the parties directly or indirectly affected by the rigging 'masterminded by the federal and provincial governments and their controlled institutions'.