Rangers to be deployed in AJK election

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ISLAMABAD: Rangers will be deployed during the general elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to be held on July 25. Sources said Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had accepted a request of AJK Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Abdul Rashid Sulehria for deployment of Rangers.

Elections will be held in 33 constituencies of AJK and 12 constituencies of Kashmiri refugees in Pakistan.

According to the AJK Election Commission, 2.82 million voters — 1.59m male and 1.297m female — will exercise their right to vote.

Election symbols to the parties and candidates will be allotted on July 4 before 2pm and the final list of contesting candidates will be published the same day, while polling will be held from 8am to 5pm on July 25.

The CEC has already unveiled a 16-page ‘code of conduct’ for the political parties, candidates and their polling agents, envisaging strict adherence to the legal and constitutional requirements and other guidelines.

Under the code, no candidate, including the AJK premier, speaker and deputy speaker of the Legislative Assembly and ministers, would be allowed to use official resources, particularly vehicles, for election campaign or else they could be disqualified from contesting the elections and the official vehicle would be confiscated.

The National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) had earlier suggested postponement of the AJK elections for two months. It had written a letter to the AJK chief election commissioner, stating that due to the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country, the polls should be delayed.

The NCOC had said that large political gatherings for election campaigns would lead to further spread of the deadly virus in AJK. It said that one million residents of AJK could be vaccinated by September.

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