Heated debate in Pak Parliament over 'rigging' in PoK polls

Heated debate in Pak Parliament over 'rigging' in PoK polls

"If the Pakistani government was involved in the internal politics of (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), then how could India be asked to give independence to the part of Kashmir under its control?" Awami National Party Parliamentarian Zahid Khan said in the Senate.
Khan's comments came after senior PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq sought to move a motion yesterday about "massive rigging" in PoK elections.

Khan, however, said the Senate was not the right forum to discuss the PoK polls.
The government "should make PoK a province like Gilgit-Baltistan" and then discuss the issue, he said.

A majority of members in the upper house were of the view that on one hand, the government claimed the independence of PoK while on other, it was "actively" involved in the recent elections.

The lawmakers said it was regrettable that funds from government welfare schemes like the Benazir Income Support Programme were used in the elections.

MQM lawmaker Tahir Mashhadi said the media had exposed rigging in the PoK Legislative Assembly elections.

He said the international community could ask Pakistan government about the rigging charges and suggested that Haq's motion should be adopted.

Haq was finally not allowed to present the motion and the Senate was subsequently prorogued when a lawmaker pointed out it did not have the required quorum.

The PPP emerged the single largest party in the recent polls in PoK but opposition parties like the PML-N have accused the ruling group of widespread rigging in the elections.

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