The opposition organised massive demonstrations protests in Gilgit-Baltistan area today to protest against the just-concluded, allegedly rigged assembly election. People were seen thronging the streets of the area and accusing Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf of winning the maximum number of seats by rigging the recently held polls.
Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-k-Insaf (PTI) won a majority of the 23 assembly seats in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Gilgit-Baltistan election 2020 was held on 23 seats of the third legislative assembly on 15 November amidst tight security. The Pakistan government had deployed over 15,000 security personnel from Gilgit-Baltistan, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan at the polling stations.
On 25 November, massive protests erupted across the Gilgit-Baltistan area as people thronged the streets, setting trucks and tires on fire. They accused the PTI of rigging the recently held polls. The mini trucks set on fire by demonstrators and the plumes of smoke billowing in different parts of the region reflected the anger and frustration amongst the people of Gilgit Baltistan.
India has repeatedly criticised Pakistan for holding illegitimate elections in the illegally occupied region of Gilgit-Baltistan. India considers the area an integral part of the country. India has maintained that any action of Islamabad to alter the status of the Pakistan Army-occupied region has no legal basis.
The main opposition parties, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), won three and two seats, respectively.
In the elections, PTI reportedly emerged victorious on 10 seats while seven were won by independent candidates. The 24 newly elected members took oath on Wednesday in the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly.
The PPP and PML-N have alleged fraud in the polls, while Imran Khan government rejected the claims. The PPP had held protests in the districts of Skardu, Ghanche, Kharmang, and Shiger after its candidate lost the election in the GBA-2 constituency and announced that it would resume protests on Wednesday.