Gilani Rejects Rigging Charges In Gilgit-Baltistan Elections

13 November 2009
The Nation

Islamabad: Opposition parties Friday staged a token walkout from the National Assembly against rigging in Gilgit-Baltistan elections, however Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani rejected the accusations and said that it had become a common practice to allege rigging in every election. Speaking at the National Assembly, he said that the Government took every step to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and these elections were a huge success towards empowerment of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. “Gilgit-Baltistan is a part of Kashmir and we should not give the message that we are interfering there otherwise it would be difficult to differentiate between India and us” PM Gilani said. He added that all political parties took part in these elections. Talking about the Accountability Bill, the Prime Minister said that the Government had asked PML-N to give its suggestions for a comprehensive bill to ensure transparency in accountability. We want to bring the bill according to the Charter of Democracy, which would not be a discriminated one, Gillani said. He stated that there was a minor difference between accountability and victimisation and the Government wanted to bring legislation that could eliminate victimisation. He said the government would respect the decisions of the courts in the NRO cases. The Prime Minister further informed the House that a judicial inquiry into the incident of killing of an alleged suicide bomber would be ensured and the report of the Interior Ministry and its findings would be placed before the House. Earlier, on a point of order, leader of the opposition Ch. Nisar Ali Khan demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident of killing of an alleged suicide bomber at a security picket in Islamabad a few days ago. He criticised the government for its silence on the newspaper reports regarding the killing. Chaudhary Nisar added that he was ensured that the Government would inform the House in this regard but nobody gave the details to the House. He asked the government to establish an independent accountability institution headed by not less than a judge of superior court to ensure transparent accountability in the country. He said that the government was busy in backtracking on the bill. “Is there any institution for accountability that will prosecute? Do not make fools out of people”, Nisar said. Talking about rigging in the Gilgit-Baltistan elections, opposition leader said that PPP has won the elections but democracy has lost. “The way the Government organised elections is a joke with the people of the area”, Nisar observed. He criticised the Government for appointing spokesman of the party Qamar Zaman Kaira as Governer Gilgit-Baltistan.