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NCOC suggests postponement of AJK election due to COVID-19


Image showing a person inserting a ballot paper in a ballot box. Photo: File.
  • NCOC suggests postponing AJK elections for two months, saying the process will lead to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases.
  • Says one million residents of AJK could be vaccinated by September 2021.
  • AJK Assembly’s terms will end on July 29, but so far, the schedule for the new election has not been issued.

MUZAFFARABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday suggested postponing the upcoming Azad Jammu And Kashmir (AJK) election by two months.

In this connection, the NCOC has written a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner of AJK, stating that due to the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country, the polls should be delayed.

The letter said that large political gatherings due to elections will lead to the further spread of the potentially deadly virus in the state, adding that the number of coronavirus positive cases are already high therein.

The NCOC said one million residents of AJK could be vaccinated by September 2021.

It should be noted that the AJK Assembly’s terms will end on July 29, but so far, the schedule for the new election has not been issued.

‘PTI wants its desired results in Azad Kashmir elections:’ AJK PM

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider had accused the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government of wanting to achieve its desired results in the AJK elections.

Haider said that if Imran Khan interferes in the election, then AJK will forget all courtesy

He said that no matter what PM Imran Khan does, AJK will never become a province. 

Haider added that he had received a letter from the NCOC to postpone the elections for the next two month. 

“Elections in AJK can only be postponed if there is external aggression,” PM Farooq said. “Such letters are an insult to the voters of Azad Kashmir. This power is vested in the Legislative Assembly of Azad Kashmir, however, this approach will create political tension in the state.”

A few days ago, Haider had said that the prime minister of Pakistan “did not even know that Azad Kashmir has its own election commission,” adding that “PM Imran Khan does not have the authority to introduce electronic voting machines (EVMs) in Azad Kashmir.”

He added that there is no reason to postpone the polls because by-elections were also held in the country despite the pandemic.

“It is not possible to postpone elections in Azad Kashmir,” Haider said. “The election results of Azad Kashmir could not be decided in a closed room of Bani Gala.”



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