MUZZAFARABAD: General elections for 45 seats of Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly are being held today. Polling equipment has already been delivered to all polling stations. Tough competition is expected in 12 constituencies.
More than 700 candidates are in the fray in the Azad Kashmir general elections. More than 3.2 million voters will exercise their right. It is being believed that 12 contest out of 45 are very critical.
Barrister Iftikhar Ali Gilani, the PML-N candidate who was elected twice in 2011 and 2016 from Muzaffarabad 3 constituency of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir, is contesting against the most senior parliamentarian Khawaja Farooq.
In Constituency LA-31 Muzaffarabad 5, PPP Azad Kashmir President Chaudhry Latif Akbar is contesting against Raja Saqib Majeed of the Muslim Conference, while in Constituency LA 32, Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan is contesting in his home constituency. He is contesting against Pakistan Peoples’ Party’s Sahibzada Ashfaque Zafar.
Raja Farooq Haider is also contesting from Lepa Valley constituency LA-33, where he will be contesting against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s Diwan Ali Khan.
Former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir and Sardar Atiq Ahmad Khan, leader of the Muslim Conference, is likely to face off against Major (retd) Latif Khaliq, a PTI candidate in LA-14 constituency.
In LA-15, PTI candidate Sardar Tanveer Ilyas will face Mushtaq Minhas of PML-N and Raja Yaseen of Muslim Conference. Tanveer Ilyas is also being named as the next Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir. The competition is likely to be fierce.
In Constituency LA-16, Sardar Qamar Zaman of Pakistan Peoples Party is contesting against Sardar Mir Akbar of PTI. In LA-17, Faisal Mumtaz Rathore of Pakistan Peoples Party will be facing Chaudhry Aziz of PML-N.
Former Prime Minister and former President of Azad Kashmir Sardar Yaqub Khan belongs to Pakistan Peoples Party and is contesting from two constituencies. In LA-20, he is considered a strong candidate, but in LA-21, he is contesting against Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party chief Sardar Hassan Ibrahim, the grandson of Sardar Ibrahim, the first president of Azad Kashmir.
Chaudhry Yasin, Leader of Opposition Pakistan Peoples’ Party in Azad Kashmir Assembly is also contesting from 2 seats.
Former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, PTI President Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry is contesting against PML-N candidate Chaudhry Muhammad Saeed in LA-3 constituency while Chaudhry Tariq Farooq of PML-N and Anwar-ul-Haq of PTI are contesting in LA-7 constituency.
In Constituency LA-25 Upper Neelam, Haji Gul Khundan, the incumbent Speaker Assembly and Shah Ghulam Qadir of PML-N are contesting.