The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) grabbed 25 of 45 general seats of the Legislative Assembly in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in the elections held on Sunday and heading to form the government.
According to unofficial and unconfirmed results of 43 seats, the PTI won in 25 constituencies, nine of them in Pakistan, followed by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in 10 constituencies (one of them in Pakistan) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in six constituencies (two of them in Pakistan).
The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party (JKPP) and the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC) won one seat each.
PTI’s regional chief Barrister Sultan Mahmood won for the seventh time in the nine general elections held in LA-3, Mirpur-III since 1985. Apart from these nine general elections, he emerged victor in two by-elections also. He lost in 1991 and 2016.
Addressing his supporters in Mirpur, he attributed the PTI’s success to the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the “worst-ever performance of the outgoing PML-N government” in AJK.
PPP’s regional president Chaudhry Latif Akbar won in LA-30 (Muzaffarabad-IV) constituency. Since 1985, he has won six of the nine general elections from this constituency besides one by-election.
PTI central joint secretary Khawaja Farooq Ahmed faced a tough competition in the Muzaffarabad city from the PML-N and an independent candidate.
Raja Farooq Haider, who contested from two constituencies of Jhelum valley district, lost to PTI’s Deevan Ali Chughtai by a big margin in one of them. However, in the other constituency, he succeeded, though by less than 800 votes, according to his press secretary Raja Wasim Khan.
Chaudhry Tariq Farooq lost to PTI’s Chaudhry Anwaar-ul Haq in Bhimber city.
Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan and Malik Zafar Iqbal of the PTI won from Bagh and Raja Mahal from Kotli, respectively. Zafar Iqbal defeated the formidable Malik Nawaz of Muslim Conference who had never lost any general elections since 1985.
In Kotli, Chaudhry Yasin of the PPP returned from both constituencies. Apart from him, Javed Iqbal Bhudanvi of his party also clinched victory, defeating younger brother of veteran politician Sardar Sikandar Hayat. Ansar Abdali and Chaudhry Akhlaque of the PTI also won in Kotli.
In Poonch, PPP’s Sardar Yaqoob Khan, former president and prime minister of AJK, won from his home constituency on the outskirts of Rawalakot. In the same district, Shahida Saghir and Abdul Qayyum Niazi of PTI also won. In Sudhnoti district, Faheem Rabbani and Sardar Muhammad Hussain of PTI secured victory.
PPP’s Raja Faisal Rathore, Sardar Javed Ayub, Syed Bazil Naqvi and Mian Abdul Waheed also clinched victory from Haveli, Kutla and Lachrat in district Muzaffarabad and Lower Neelum Valley, respectively, sources said.
In the upper belt of Neelum valley, PML-N’s Shah Ghulam Qadir was among the successful candidates, while PML-N’s Waqar Ahmed Noor and PTI’s Ali Shan Soni retained their seats in Barnala and Samahni, respectively.
From among the indigenous parties, former prime minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan of AJK’s Muslim Conference secured victory by a wide margin from Dhirkot, retaining the seat that has always returned his family.
Sardar Hassan Ibrahim of the Jammu Kashmir Peoples Party (JKPP) also secured his second consecutive victory from Rawalakot city.
In the 12 constituencies in Pakistan, PPP’s Aamir Ghaffar clinched victory in Karachi by a wide margin to secure his third electoral victory, two of them in succession.
Similarly, PTI’s Abdul Majid Khan secured his fourth consecutive victory from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and PTI’s Deevan Mohiuddin from Lahore secured his fifth consecutive win.