Pakistan summons Indian Charge d'Affaires to protest statement on PoK polls
Islamabad/UNI: Pakistan on Friday summoned the Indian Charge d’Affaires to convey Islamabad’s “complete rejection” of New Delhi’s statement on the elections held in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
In a statement, the Pakistan Foreign Office said that it “categorically rejects the false, untenable and self-serving comments made by Indian MEA on the recently concluded elections in AJK”.
“The Indian Charge d’Affaires was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey Pakistan’s complete rejection,” it said.
The Pakistan Foreign Office contended that the people of PoK, or Azad Jammu and Kashmir as it calls it, “enjoy the fruits of free and participatory electoral process”.
Terming Indian Jammu and Kashmir as “under India’s illegal occupation”, the Foreign Office asked India to stop alleged human rights violations in the union territory, and to take steps for full implementation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir.
The Pakistani reaction comes a day after the Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi slammed the elections held in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on Sunday as “nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation”.
Bagchi also said that New Delhi has lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani authorities over the election.
Bagchi, addressing a media briefing, said the elections held on Sunday had been protested and rejected by the local people.
“The so-called elections in Indian territory under the illegal occupation of Pakistan are nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation and the material changes undertaken by it in these territories.
“India has lodged a strong protest with the Pakistani authorities on this cosmetic exercise, which has been protested and rejected by the local people. Such an exercise can neither hide the illegal occupation by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation, and denial of freedom to people in these occupied territories.
“Pakistan has no locus standi on these Indian territories. We call upon Pakistan to vacate all Indian areas under its illegal occupation,” Bagchi said on Thursday.
The polls in PoK held on Sunday have been widely criticized by Pakistan’s opposition parties as rigged. In fact, a candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party even said that he would “seek India’s help” over the poll rigging by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Imran Khan's PTI party won the maximum seats, 25 of the 45 seats, while the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won 11 seats and the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secured six seats in the elections.
The PML-N party also issued show cause notice to Choudhary Muhammad Ismail Gujjar, the party candidate from LA-35 Jammu-2 constituency, over his statement that he will “seek India’s help” over alleged poll rigging.