J&K Polls Not Expression Of Kashmiri People: Pakistan

20 November 2008

Islamabad: In remarks that could raise hackles in India, Pakistan today said the elections in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be construed as 'authentic' expression of the aspirations of the people. 'The ongoing elections cannot be construed as authentic expression of the real aspirations of the Kashmiri people,' Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Muhammad Sadiq told mediaperson in Islamabad during the weekly briefing. India is conducting a seven-phase elections in Jammu and Kashmir amid tight security to thwart any attempt by militants to disrupt the elections boycotted by separatists. Braving freezing temperatures and ignoring separatists' boycott call, the electorate have voted in large numbers with an estimated 55 per cent turnout in the first phase of the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. With regard to the cross-LoC trade, Sadiq said certain logistic issues have slowed down the intra-Kashmir trade. 'The two sides are working to overcome these issues which are dampening commercial exchanges,' the spokesperson stressed.