Pakistan’s ruling party set to form government in Kashmir

pakistan kashmir election
Supporters of political parties chant slogans outside a polling station during voting to elect lawmakers for legislative assembly in Kashmir, Pakistan, July 25, 2021. Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party emerged as the single-largest party after winning at least 25 out of 45 seats in Kashmir elections, according to unofficial results.

The opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won 11 seats while the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) bagged six seats in the hotly-contested polls in the northern Kashmir region.

More than 700 candidates from 32 parties contested elections for 45 general seats in the legislative assembly. Over 3.22 million Kashmiri voters took part in the polling in the region of 4 million. There are 33 electoral constituencies in the 10 districts of the region while 12 constituencies are reserved for Pakistan-based refugees.

Polling was briefly suspended in some constituencies due to quarrels between political workers. At least two people were killed and several others wounded in a clash between supporters of PTI and PPP in Kotli district, according to local media.

At least four Pakistani soldiers, who were part of the quick response force, lost their lives and four other personnel were injured when their vehicle met with an accident in the Leswa area, Pakistan’s military said in a statement. The soldiers were deployed to provide security during the elections.

Last year, Khan’s party also secured the largest seats in the elections for the Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly, strengthening his position.