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Violence Mars Voting in Pakistan

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The recently concluded elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), witnessed large scale violence with the deaths of two workers of the ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI) and one worker of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Observers also reported a least eight incidents

in which rival political parties engaged in violence, leaving both political workers and police injured.

 

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) issued a strong statement calling up the Election Commission of Pakistan to “investigate allegations by the PPP concerning the use of force to influence the voting process, including the arrest of the chief polling agent for LA-30 immediately after the start of polling and reports that PTI workers ‘captured’ the Mandol Bazaar polling station in LA-18 and stamped ballot papers.”

 

Further, HRCP demanded that “all cases of election-related violence and poll rigging are investigated and addressed promptly and transparently. It is also a matter of serious concern that polling camps set up by the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan were seen by independent observers. We also urge the government to ensure that women’s participation as voters is strengthened by increasing efforts to provide all women in AJK with CNICs so that they appear on the electoral rolls.”

Author: Zahid Khan