RAWALPINDI: At least four soldiers embraced martyrdom on Sunday when an army Quick Response Team (QRF) vehicle, patrolling in order to maintain law and order during Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) elections, toppled while taking a steep turn in Laswa area and fell into a ravine.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), three other soldiers and a civil driver sustained injuries in the unfortunate incident. The statement further said that the injured have been evacuated to a nearby medical facility for necessary medical care.
More than 700 candidates from 32 political and religious parties are contesting for the 45 general seats. Twelve seats are reserved for Kashmiri refugees who had migrated from the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) in 1947 and 1965 and are settled in various parts of Pakistan. Therefore, in the 10 districts of AJK, elections will take place on 33 seats only.
In view of the apprehensions expressed by political parties, the polling process is taking place amid strict security measures. Nearly 40,000 security personnel have been entrusted with the task to guard 5,123 polling stations, of which 1,209 have been declared “sensitive” while 826 stations “most sensitive”.
Accordingly, the AJK government has also granted magisterial powers to 250 officers apart from regular magistrates and presiding officers in a bid to maintain law and order during the polling day.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting ChaudhryFawadHussain on Sunday regretted the accident involving a Pakistan Army vehicle on election duty in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement, he said that martyrdom of Pakistan Army soldiers in the accident was a great tragedy for the country and the nation. The sacrifices of the soldiers of Pakistan Army for the establishment of law and order in the country were unforgettable.
He prayed to Allah Almighty to grant patience to the families of the martyrs at this hour of grief.
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain also prayed for speedy recovery of the injured persons.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib expressed grief and sorrow over martyrdom of Pakistan Army’s soldiers, who were deployed to maintain law and order in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) during the election.
In a news release, he prayed for the highest ranks in Jannah for the martyred, who lost lives after their vehicle fell into a ravine while taking a steep turn in Laswa area of AJK.
Farrukh also prayed for early recovery of the injured during the accident.
The minister praised Pakistan Army for rendering remarkable security services during the AJK election and said those who had sacrificed their lives for defense of motherland and its internal security would be reckoned among national heroes.
He said the Pakistan Army was not only protecting the country’s borders but also ensuring internal security through relentless efforts.