The elections in Pakistan have never been fair and transparent; this was reiterated by the political leadership time and again. This is also the reason behind not accepting the winning parties as the winners. The culture of blaming the opponents for rigging the polls has been routine now. What we witnessed in the AJK elections on Sunday was disappointing considering the loss of two precious lives and the exchanging of abusive language and punches in the polling booths.
According to the details, two people were killed while 10 others were injured during clashes between supporters of different political parties on Election Day of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly polls.
During a clash between PML-N and PTI voting agents at the most sensitive polling station 53 of LA 43 voter slips were torn apart after which polling was suspended in the station by the presiding officer. On the other hand, fire was exchanged between PPP and PTI supporters in Kotli, LA 12 Charhoi as a result two including a PTI supporter were shot dead while two others sustained injuries.
Muhammad Shabbir, an official at Naarr police station, identified the victims as 40-year-old Zaheer Ahmed and 50-year-old Ramzan. He added that the clash erupted between PPP and PTI workers at about 9:15 AM at the Mithi Jand polling station. In the ensuing gunfire, Ahmed was killed on the spot and Ramzan died on the way to the hospital. Eight more were injured during a clash between PTI and PPP workers in LA-15 Bagh and polling process was suspended.
Earlier, Pakistan People Party (PPP) filed a written complaint with Azad Kashmir Election Commission and asked it to take strict action as per the law against those involved in the irregularities. PPP has alleged that its camp situated 400 meters from polling station 20 of LA 44 was uprooted by PTI workers with the help of police while the PTI camp is situated only 200 meters from polling station. PPP further alleged that Police on duty at polling station 3 of LA 44 is telling voters where to vote and where not to vote.
Now again, the hues and crying claiming rigging in the elections will take a long time to get over. The hatred will continue between the voters and the parties as well. But this is not a new thing. The thing which is a matter of concern for all of us is why the politicians, besides the fact that the blame game of rigging will take place in every election, are sitting together for electoral reforms. This is the duty of the politicians to end the election issues, to devise new policies and reforms so that there won’t be a problem to accept the winners as winners.
The politicians have said that the elections have never been fair since 1948, and we have already lost our time fighting each other for no reason. But still this is the right time to sit together for electoral reforms so that the long standing demand of every party alleging the other of rigging the polls will come to an end.