GB top court suspends EC notification for withholding Astore by-poll’s official results

GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Court has suspended the Election Commission’s notification for withholding the official results of the by-election in GB Assembly constituency GBLA-13 Astore-1 held on September 9.

This decision from a two-member bench came on a petition filed by PTI’s Muhammad Khurshid Khan against the commission’s decision to withhold the official results.

According to the unofficial results, PTI’s Khurshid Ahmed bagged 6,164 votes, PML-N’s Farman Ali secured 4,899 votes, and PPP’s Abdul Hameed Khan polled 4,125 votes. PTI workers had been protesting against the decision of withholding the official results, demanding their immediate release.

Speaking to journalists after the court’s ruling, former Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister and PTI provincial president Khalid Khurshid said the votes in Astore were actually polled by Imran Khan. He said the PTI would win whenever the next general elections were conducted in GB.

Khalid Khurshid expressed the confidence that Imran Khan would win in the upcoming elections. He said the party membership of PTI members of the assembly who did not vote for the party’s candidate for the CM’s slot would not be suspended, but if they did not return to the party, a letter would be written to the PTI chief against them. He further warned that members found involved in vote rigging would be taken to court.

On the other hand, on the third day of the 26th session of the GB Assembly, members engaged in discussions on various issues with Speaker Nazir Ahmed Advocate in the chair. The session saw government and opposition members on the same page against the bureaucracy.

Addressing the assembly, Minister for Home Affairs Shams Lone emphasized that all elected representatives in the GB Assembly were public servants. He pointed out that bureaucrats were travelling in 4000cc cars, while provincial ministers and assembly members were powerless in front of the bureaucracy. The home minister called for taking back 4000cc cars from the provincial secretaries.

During the session, the Speaker directed the Excise and Taxation Department’s minister to compile and submit details of all government vehicles of Gilgit-Baltistan to the assembly. The session lasted for three hours, before the Speaker adjourned it until 3pm on Thursday.

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