Posted on November 12, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Politics
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20 responses to “Gilgit-Baltistan Goes to Vote”

  1. ejazbaleevi says:

    GB election was not free,fair election that’s why most of candidates elected from the major party of central govt.even most of candidates were not illegible.

  2. Meengla says:

    Thank you for posting Iqbal Haider’s interview link. Much appreciated. I watched it fully. Unlike you I do not rule out the possibility that a sitting govt. will try to ‘influence’ elections in Pakistan. Would not be the first or last time, sadly.
    1) However, even Mr. Haider disappointed Kamran of GEO by citing violence at ‘one polling station’ and hence 2 dead. And you should know that Mr. Haider and his kind of truly admirable Human Rights Watch Groups would find ‘flaws’ in almost all electioneering processes throughout the world. It is their duty to find deviance from the ideals and I admire them. But even they, according to another report, have conceded that the elections were largely ‘peaceful’ and perhaps even fair, by Pakistani standards anywhere. Do you want me to quote that? Do you really think I. Haider is calling to annul the whole elections? I think not, much to your disappointment.
    2) Would you like to explain as to how, in case you support Tonga Party Taliban Imran Khan as your choice, why PTI fielded only 2 candidates for the 24 seats? Was there a gag order? Or Iman’s surgery would cripple his entire party? Any other excuses? Would you, in the same vein, care to explain as to how no political party fielded candidates for most seats except the PPP? May be these political parties were not sure if they could even find candidates for all the seats in contest–say a lot, doesn’t it? Really, think before you anwer about it.
    3) What would you say about PMLQ–the self-proclaimed true Opposition Party in current parliament–has accepted the elections results, albeit with ‘reservations’. Yeah, the same reservations as PPP’s for the 2008 elections.
    4) Do you no think that it would not be very hard to influence the locals with lofty promises in the first-ever Legislative Elections in the erstwhile Northern Areas? I bet if PMLN was in power and had granted limited autonomy and the moon the locals would have been significantly influenced by that too.
    5) Did you not think that the Shia voters who form a bulk of voters in G-B would go for the PPP considering the religious minorities (and that, in Pakistani context, can include Shia Muslims as well) go for PPP in general?

    Oh, please!! If you are going to quote Iqbal Haider–who is likely to criticise elections for the Papacy in the Vaticans on some grounds–then you should quote ‘the real’ players like Ch. Shujaat Hussain of PMLQ who has accepted the elections results.

    But, too bad, you still think this is 1977. Quite a time warp there is that cocoon around you guys.

  3. Aqil says:

    Even Iqbal Haider is saying that there has been rigging on a large scale:
    Meengla, now go ahead and accuse him of being a right wing, pro-Taliban, PPP hating anti democracy conspirator :)

  4. Meengla says:

    1) These elections in Gilgit-Baltistan can’t be any worse than status quo, could they? I mean, major political forces from Pakistan put their weight behind their candidates and that can only mean, in future, G-B (should it be ‘GB’?) get integrated into the ‘mainstream’ Pakistan eventually?
    2) Is there significant ‘rigging’ in these elections? I think not–not in the sense of Karzai’s 1/3rd votes anyway. One can say that Acting Governer Kaira and PM Gilani promised the locals a moon but then who doesn’t in Pakistan (or perhaps the rest of South Asia) prior to the elections? Even then, didn’t Pervez Elahi as Chief Minister offer a lot in Punjab prior to Feb. 2008 elections but he still lost?
    3) Are these elections a precursor to Pakistan accepting the Line of Control = International Border in Kashmir? I don’t think it is a coincidence that Musharraf was accused of having ‘sold’ (or ‘betrayed’) Kashmir to India and that PPP govt. is being accused of following Musharraf’s foreign policy (which were/are correct, IMHO).
    4) Yes, as someone above says, FATA next. No more of these 19th century enclaves of tribalism. No more of these eletricity supplies without payments. M.A. Jinnah would not have promised the tribals uncontrolled, uninhibited autonomies had he seen how these ‘hospitable’ tribals welcomed the Talibans and AlQaida into their midst. Pakistan has 170+ million people. It does not need some 19th century freeloaders to guard its frontier with Afghanistan.

  5. Kamran says:

    I am very glad that these elections went well. Now we must extend full elections to the tribal areas too. Lets get ALL Pakistanis fully in Pakistan and treat all Pakistanis and full rights Pakistanis.