GB CEC rejects criticism over PM Imran Khan’s address in region

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Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing at Freedom Day celebration in Gilgit. Photo: APP    

Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Election Commissioner Raja Shahbaz Khan on Monday said PM Imran Khan attended independence day celebrations and not a political gathering.

Speaking to Geo Pakistan, he said the premier participated at the independence day celebrations. “It was not a political gathering,” he asserted, stressing that action would be taken against violation of election rules.

PM Imran Khan has come under scrutiny for addressing a rally on Sunday where he announced provisional-provincial status for GB. The prime minister was accompanied by Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur.

He declined to announce any development package for the region owing to the Election Commission’s restriction due to the upcoming elections. However, he assured the people that his government was resolved to uplift the backward areas, including GB, Balochistan, western districts of Punjab and interior Sindh, and their people.

Criticism

PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman on Sunday lamented the prime minister and federal ministers violate code of conduct by running political campaigns and urged the CEC to take notice.

“The prime minister and a federal minister is running the campaign of their party illegally in Gilgit-Baltistan which is clear violation of the code of conduct of the elections and a pre-polling rigging,” she said while commenting on the prime minister address’ in GB on Sunday.

Sherry Rehman said the federal ministers were addressing the corner meetings and announcing development projects in the campaign, which was not allowed after the announcement of election schedule.

The PPP leader said the prime minister reached GB after a federal minister and federal resources were being used in the election.

PPP lodges complaint with CEC

Meanwhile, the PPP wrote a letter of complaint to the CEC GB on alleged violation of code of conduct by Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and GB Ali Amin Gandapur for campaigning in the elections for the PTI.

“The speeches of Gandapur are being telecast by several channels in which he is shown making electoral promises to the electorate,” said In-charge PPP Election Cell Taj Haider in a letter to the CEC.

Taj Haider stated in a letter that the Returning Officer of GBA 16 Diamer-II Chilas through a circular dated 27-10-2020 while taking notice of the news of forthcoming visit of federal minister for Kashmir Affairs and GB had restrained him from “participating in election campaign in any manner whatsoever”.

He stated that in blatant violation of the code of conduct and also in open defiance of the circular, the caretaker government of GB issued an office order on the October 29 nominating government officials in 10 districts to assist the visiting minister during his visit from October 28 to November 16.

He said the PPP also would draw the attention to the fact that the dates of the minister’s visit coincide with the duration of election campaign.

In the meanwhile, Spokesman to the former President, Asif Ali Zardari has said that Imran Khan’s political speech in GB is against election rules and asked that why the Election commission of Pakistan does not take notice of this violation.

The spokesman said that the federal ministers are also influencing the elections in GB. He demanded of the ECP to fulfil its responsibility and take action against Imran Khan.



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