PPP is the only party in Pakistan which supports poor masses; Bilawal Bhutto

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NAKYAL: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday took a jibe at the PTI-led government as well as PML-N’s regime in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and said that rulers — whether they are in Muzaffarabad or in the federal government — are cowards. Bilawal was addressing a rally in Nakyal, Azad Kashmir, as part of his party’s election campaign in the region. Bilawal said that the PPP is the “only party in Pakistan which has the support of the poor masses,” adding that the PTI-government, as well as other parties, have “no reason to fear the PPP.” “If you have to compete against us, then you should do it through the process of voting and election,” Bilawal said to the government and other rival parties. Further criticising the PTI government, the PPP chairman said that Pakistan has been unlucky in the sense that it had a “puppet of a prime minister” imposed on it, adding that when India’s Modi attacks Kashmir, the Pakistani premier says he cannot do anything about it. Bilawal, expressing his confidence, also said that the PPP will form a government in AJK with “the power of the vote.” “The government and [rival parties] should know that the PPP has a young chairman,” he said. “You should compete with us on political grounds, but don’t try to fight PPP loyalists.”The people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir will go to the polls on July 25 to elect new members to the region’s Legislative Assembly. Like Pakistan, the region has a parliamentary form of government with a president, Prime Minister, supreme court, high court and an independent election commission. However, Prime Minister Imran Khan is the highest office holder of the region as the chairman of the Kashmir Council. The legislative assembly consists of 53 members, out of which 33 are directly elected from the 10 districts of AJK. On the other hand, 12 seats are available for the Kashmiri refugees living in the four provinces of Pakistan. The assembly also has a single seat for overseas Kashmiris and five seats reserved for women. Meanwhile, one seat is reserved for Ulema-e-Din or Mashaikh and one for a technocrat. The polls of the region are also watched internationally as the polls in AJK are compared with the elections held in occupied Kashmir. This was the main reason that in 2006, EU observers were present to oversee the election in AJK. This year, 32 parties including the AJK chapters of mainstream Pakistani political parties are participating in the elections. The region has 3.2 million voters, out of which 1.75 million are male and 1.46 million are female.

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