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Wattoo rejects mid-term elections.

By LAHORE, July 11, 2011 (Balochistan Times): Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo on Sunday, terming the demand of mid-term elections wishful thinking, said that general elections would be held in 2013 in the country. How could the Punjab chief minister dream of mid-term elections in the country when he is unable to even hold local government (LG) polls in the province as well as AJK polls on a single seat in Lahore due to a poor law and order situation, he said while talking to APP during his visit to the residence of the LESCO Chief Executive here on Sunday. Federal Minister Manzoor Wattoo condoled with the LESCO Chief over the demise of his mother and offered Fateha for the departed soul. The minister said PML-N and PPP candidates for the AJK polls for the LA-37 (Valley II) seat had admitted that elections could not be held owing to poor law and order in the provincial metropolis. He alleged that the PML-N in collusion with the Punjab government committed worst rigging during the AJK polls for the Lahore seat and PPP workers were harassed while their election camps were uprooted by the PML-N. On allegations of rigging against the PPP in the AJK polls, the Minister said, The allegations are baseless. The PPP won AJK elections despite the fact the Muslim Conference ruled Azad Kashmir while the PML-N was in power in the nine AJK seats in Punjab. He said that political rivals should accept that the PPP had won the AJK polls since it had deeper roots, rendered commendable services and left indeliable imprints of faithfulness on the soil of Kashmir as compared with its political rivas, PML-N and MC. PPP founder Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave Kashmiris the 1974 AJK constitution and promised to wage a 1,000-year-long war with India for the cause of Kashmir while Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto ensured representation of Kashmiris in the OIC, he added. He said the PPP had won AJK polls as its warring factions rejoined the party before elections while the MC split into two which left the PML-N alone, adding the PML-N should also accept the reality that Kashmiris had rejected it after evaluating its performance and its failure to do anything commendable for Kashmiris during its two terms in power. The minister for Kashmir affairs called upon political forces to respect the mandate of rivals in the light of Charter of Democracy (CoD), urging them to set aside old traditions of crying down others achievenmts for self-aggrandizement. He said that political rivals demanded mid-term elections since they were wary of PPPs prospects in the upcoming Senate elections in 2012 and were willing to compromise political stability in the country. On the question of political stability, he underlined the need for true allegiance to the rules of game, political tolerance and avoiding intrusion into private lives. To a query, Wattoo urged the need for political tolerance in the country, adding that the PPP believed in the continuity of the democratic process, stressing at least four to five continuous election terms in power by different political parties in the country would lend political maturity. He said the uninterrupted democratic process and continuity of policies by predecessors would help streamline the system and overcome the energy crisis as well the menace of corruption in the country. About formation of government in AJK, he said that the schedule for reserved seats including eight seats for women, one for religious scholar, one for expatriate Kashmiris and one technocrat seat would be announced shortly. The PPP has already bagged 22 seats in the AJK Assembly and would win a majority of reserved seats, Wattoo told APP. Manzoor Wattoo paid rich tributes to the media for the coverage of AJK elections and exposing faces involved in rigging.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 11, 2011
Words:639
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