GILGIT: In the wake of continuing controversy and protests against suspected rigging in the Gilgit-Baltistan elections, the region’s caretaker government requested assistance from the Pakistan Army to monitor the security situation in the region on Wednesday.
The GB government needed two army companies to sustain the law and order situation in Gilgit and Chilas via a letter written to the Federal Ministry of Interior.
480 troops were captured by the GB government, of which 300 were to be stationed in Gilgit and 180 in Chilas.
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As a third level defence layer, the troops will stand by to support the administration and will remain mobilised until Nov 23.
The PPP employees resumed their protest sit-in near the Gilgit Deputy Commissioner’s Office against the suspected manipulation of the GBLA-2 Gilgit-2 seat in the polls.
Writes letter to interior ministry; recounting completed in GBLA-2; re-polling at female station ordered
The PPP reported that its candidate Jamil Ahmed was leading the vote count on Sunday night, but his outcome was altered the next day and he was seen to be trailing PTI’s Fatehullah Khan by only two votes.
Since Monday morning, PPP employees have been blocking Shahrah Quaid-i-Azam in Gilgit.
The GB Election Commission has already ordered the recounting of the votes in the constituency, following the PPP’s protest. The recount took place on Tuesday in the presence of both candidates, but due to the fear of a law and order crisis, the results have so far not been announced.
Karakorum Highway between Thalichi and Gunarfarm was also blocked by supporters of independent candidate Haji Dilpazeer against the suspected rigging of the GBLA-15 Diamer constituency.
The demonstrators claimed that they refused 418 postal ballots in lieu of Dilpazeer. The other independent nominee, Haji Shah Baig, was declared the electorate’s winner unofficially.
In the meantime, on November 22, the GB Chief Election Commissioner released instructions for re-polling at a female polling station in GBLA-17 Diamer III. The directives were released in the wake of allegations that women were barred from voting on Nov 15 by tacit consent or by intimidation from religious scholars.
The GB Election Commission also ordered the re-polling at Gindai polling station in GBLA-21 Ghizer on 22 November after the returning officer had announced the illegal removal from the polling station of the ballot boxes.
Meanwhile, via his social media account on Twitter on Wednesday, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that despite the fact that his party was not offered a level playing field in the GB polls on Sunday, it received more votes than any other party.