India Slams PoK Polls As 'cosmetic Exercise' To Hide Illegal Occupation29 July 2021
New Delhi: India on Thursday slammed the elections held in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir as nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation and added that New Delhi has lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani authorities. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, addressing a media briefing, said the elections held on Sunday had been protested and rejected by the local people. The so-called elections in Indian territory under the illegal occupation of Pakistan are nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation and the material changes undertaken by it in these territories. India has lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani authorities on this cosmetic exercise, which has been protested and rejected by the local people. Such an exercise can neither hide the illegal occupation by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation, and denial of freedom to people in these occupied territories. Pakistan has no locus standi on these Indian territories. We call upon Pakistan to vacate all Indian areas under its illegal occupation, he said. The polls in PoK held on Sunday have been widely criticized by Pakistans opposition parties as rigged. In fact, a candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party even said that he would seek Indias help over the poll rigging by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Imran Khan's PTI party won the maximum seats, 25 of the 45 seats, while the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won 11 seats and the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secured six seats in the elections. The PML-N party also issued show cause notice to Choudhary Muhammad Ismail Gujjar, the party candidate from LA-35 Jammu-2 constituency, over his statement that he will seek Indias help over alleged poll rigging.