GILGIT: Amid the allegations of rigging in the upcoming elections, the Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Court on Friday ordered the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Ali Amin Gandapur, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other federal government ministers and officeholders to leave the region within three days.
The orders were passed by a two-member bench comprising Justice Malik Haq Nawaz and Justice Ali Beg on a petition filed by the PML-N and PPP leaders over the election code of conduct violations.
In this connection, the region’s top court directed the chief election commissioner, interim chief minister and chief secretary to ensure the implementation of its orders. This development came as the opposition parties have been talking about the attempts to influence and rig the elections scheduled for November 15.
PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz in her address to a rally on Thursday had said that several party candidates and members had been forced to change their loyalties in recent months. Similarly, other party leaders have been issuing statements on this issue with a warning that the process would be rigged to install a government in the region.
Also on Thursday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had asked the Gilgit-Baltistan chief election commissioner to explain his meetings with the government ministers in Islamabad and said attempts were being made to rig the Gilgit-Baltistan elections. Instead of protecting the election process in the region, the CEC was defending the actions and interference by Prime Minister Imran Khan and other federal cabinet members, said Bilawal.
He was criticising Chief Election Commissioner Raja Shehbaz for his press conference in which he had accused the PPP chairman of violating the election code of conduct. On Sunday last also, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said his government will grant provisional status to Gilgit Baltistan.
He addressed a political rally in Gilgit ahead of planned elections there. “We have made a decision to grant provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan, which has long been the demand here,” said Imran Khan. If that was not enough, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said on Friday that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have also rejected the hollow narrative of the opposition. In a tweet, he said that big and successful meetings and public rallies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Gilgit-Baltistan were a sign of people’s confidence and electoral victory under the leadership of Imran Khan.
He said that like other parts of the country, bringing GB into the national mainstream of development and progress was Imran Khan’s vision and promise.