Kashmir Polls Bring Major Parties into Confrontation as MQM Quits

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Polls for the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly sparked political tensions throughout the country on Sunday, with major parties blaming each other for vote rigging and election-related clashes leaving two political workers dead. The PPP accused the government of Punjab of using its authority to create rumpus so as to influence polling for all the nine seats in the province. Muslim League [N] made similar accusations against the PPP, claiming that polls have been held on fake voter lists. The MQM boycotted the elections and quit the coalition government today in the province and at the center.

“The MQM leadership and workers have reached the conclusion it is difficult to go along with the Pakistan People’s Party, keeping in view its democratic and dictatorial attitude,” senior party official Farooq Sattar stated to reporters.

The party said it would file petitions in the AJK and the Supreme Court of Pakistan against delays in polling in several places on the pretext of security reasons.