Local Body Polls in KP Pak-India Relations War Against Terror Other News
Local Body Polls in KP
War Against Terror
Local body polls in Khyber Pakhtunkwa this week were marred by killings of political workers and accusations of rigging by opposition parties. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Awami National Party (ANP) formally demanded resignation of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over alleged rigging.
ANP leader Asfandyar Wali claimed that fair and transparent local government elections are not possible until PTI is in power in KP while PPP’s Raja Pervez Ashraf also demanded resignation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister and holding fresh local government elections. JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman also accused the PTI of rigging and said his party would not accept the results.
Meanwhile Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ordered re-polling in PK-95 constituency of Lower Dir in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and announced a new election schedule after reports that women from that constituency were barred from casting their votes during the by-election on May 30. This is the first case where Election Commission has dismissed election results and ordered re-polling over the issue of barring women from casting votes. Jamat-e-Islami announced that it would challenge ECP’s decision in court.
In response to rigging allegations, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said his party is willing to conduct re-election. Meanwhile at least seven people were killed and several others injured when a group celebrating after the completion of local government elections in Tank district was attacked by unidentified men who opened fire and hurled grenades.
Another highlight of by- elections was the arrest of former provincial minister and General Secretary of Awami National Party (ANP), Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who was released on bail two days later. He was arrested by police for his alleged involvement in the killing of a PTI worker in Nowshera district.
Although relations between both the neighbors have never been stable but recent statements and allegations from both sides are causing further instability in the relationship.
With a recent surge in terrorism related incidents in Pakistan, Pakistan army and leadership accuse India for its involvement in terror activities on Pakistani soil. In a recent statement, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has said that there is no reason to be worried about the recent attitude by India because the army knows well how to respond to aggression. He also warned that army will not allow any country to use proxies against it. Accusing India of its involvement in promoting terrorism, the army chief said Pakistan’s enemies were supporting terrorism in their efforts to destabilise the country.
Earlier Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told an all-parties conference in Quetta that recent killing of 22 Pashtuns in Mastung was an attempt by the enemies of Pakistan to promote ethnic conflict in the country. He also said that foreign agencies are involved in violence in the region to sabotage the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. In an address to parliament’s joint sitting, President Mamnoon Hussain said that Pakistan wishes to have friendly relations with its neighbors on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
On Kashmir issue, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said that Pakistan wants a just resolution for Kashmir as per aspirations of Kashmiris, to bring lasting peace in the region.
As operation against militants in different areas of Pakistan continues, both military and civilian leadership express resolve not to give up until the menace of terrorism is rooted out. In a recent statement Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urged the nation to stand united and foil the attempts of the enemies to create divisions on ethnic and sectarian grounds. The prime minister said not only there were local elements that were trying to create dissent, but there were also foreign ones that wanted to create instability in the country.
The prime minister also said that Pakistan has paid heavy price in this war against terror in terms of human lives and has also suffered massive economic losses. President Mamnoon Hussain, in his address to joint session of parliament, lauded parliament’s consensus on all-out efforts for complete eradication of the menace from the country and approval of the national action plan.
He also said that the operation would continue till the elimination of last terrorist, whether they are active in FATA, tribal areas, Karachi or any other part of the country. Meanwhile the Sindh government has decided to initiate a crackdown on 48 seminaries which have been found to be promoting terrorism in the country in general and in the province in particular. A task force has also been constituted to check finance sources of terrorism, including protection money, ransom money, land grabbing, smuggling and collection of donations.
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