Elections in Pakistan: Perspectives from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir

Priyanka Singh is Associate Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • January 2014

    In the run-up to the May 2013 elections, the political scene in Pakistan was absorbed in electoral rhetoric, active campaigning and a hectic poll process. It culminated with an expected set of results—the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerged victorious and took the reins of power after a decade and a half. The incumbent Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was nearly decimated and Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) marginalised. Meanwhile, during the entire electoral process and the eventual change of guard, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), that is, the so-called Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan, remained on the political periphery, even though they have been under Pakistan’s control for more than 65 years. Deprived of a provincial status, neither region within PoK is entitled to participate in the national assembly elections of Pakistan. The only representation PoK has in the federal government is through the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan (KAGB).?1

    • 1. Both the current minister for KAGB, Ch. Muhammad Barjees Tahir, and his predecessor, Mian Manzoor Wattoo, hail from Punjab and did not belong to PoK.