Pak's Covid body suggests postponing of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir polls

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Pakistan's coronavirus-monitoring body, National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday suggested postponing of the upcoming Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) election by two months amid COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner of PoK, the NCOC stated that due to the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country, the polls should be delayed. The letter mentioned that large political gathering due to elections will lead to the further spread of the potentially deadly virus in the state, adding that the number of coronavirus positive cases are already high therein, reported Geo News.

The NCOC also said one million residents of PoK could be vaccinated by September 2021. It should be noted that the Kashmir Assembly's terms will end on July 29, but so far, the schedule for the new election has not been issued, The News International reported.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider had accused the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government of wanting to achieve its desired results in the Kashmir elections.

Farooq Haider said that if Prime Minister Imran Khan interferes in the election, then PoK will forget all courtesy. He said that no matter what Prime Minister does, Kashmir will never become a province. Haider added that he had received a letter from the NCOC to postpone the elections for the next two month, it reported further.

"Elections in PoK can only be postponed if there is external aggression," PM Farooq Haider said. "Such letters are an insult to the voters of Kashmir. This power is vested in the Legislative Assembly of PoK, however, this approach will create political tension in the state."

Haider had earlier said that the Prime Minister of Pakistan "did not even know that Kashmir has its own election commission," adding that "PM Imran Khan does not have the authority to introduce Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in Kashmir."

He added that there is no reason to postpone the polls because by-elections were also held in the country despite the pandemic.

Pakistan has reported over 2,455 new infections, pushing the tally to 916,239. At least 73 more people have succumbed to coronavirus in Pakistan, taking the nationwide COVID-19 death toll to 20,680, on Sunday.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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