Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Protests over Gilgit Baltistan election results turn violent: Forest dept building, 4 vehicles set ablaze

At least four vehicles and a building of the Gilgit-Baltistan’s (GB) forest department were set on fire by unidentified people on Monday during a protest by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), alleging rigged election in a local constituency, said police. Citing Gilgit Senior Superintendent of Police Mirza Hussain, Dawn reported that the violence started after a clash broke out between the security forces and the demonstrators. The superintendent said that there were no injuries reported and no one had been arrested.

PPP’s GB chapter President Advocate Amjad said that several workers of the party were injured from tear gas shelling by police and added that demonstrations will be held in 12 districts from 12-4 pm on Tuesday. The party’s information secretary for GB, Saadia Danish, said that the party workers had “arranged a peaceful protest against” alleged rigging in GBLA-II but the police used force to stop them. “She said police resorted to baton-charge and aerial firing, which led to the disruption of peace. She held the local administration responsible for the law and order situation,”Dawn reported further.

According to Geo News, she added that it seemed as if the election commissioner was a PTI worker, “warning that his attitude” would lead to the deterioration in the law and order situation in the Pakistan-occupied region.

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It was reported that both PPP and PML-N have levelled allegations of rigging in the recent GB elections. A winner is yet to be announced from the Pakistan-occupied region. The complete but unofficial results of all 23 constituencies, where polling was held on Sunday, indicate that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has emerged as the single largest party with 10 seats, followed by seven independents.

The Pakistan Peoples Party won three seats, the PML-N two and the Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen, which had a seat adjustment arrangement with the PTI, got one seat, Dawn reported.

Last week, protests broke out in Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan amid claims of vote-rigging in the recently held election. Demonstrators took to the streets to protest against what they called the rigged election, in which Pakistan ruling party is said to be winning.

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