ISLAMABAD: In a bid to bring a paradigm shift in the politics of the AJK region, particularly in the upcoming elections in Azad Kashmir, the PPP and PML-Q Wednesday decided to extend their coalition to Azad Jammu and Kashmir, agreeing to support each other’s candidates in the elections.
The decision was taken during the meeting of senior leaders of the PPP and PML-Q chaired by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani. PML-Qís senior minister and Minister for Defense Production Chaudhry Parvaiz Elahi and Minister for Labour and Manpower Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain were also at the Prime Minister House Wednesday.
It was decided at the meeting that Prime Minister Gilani and Elahi would together address rallies for their joint candidates in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir election. This was an extraordinary meeting where PPP and PML-Q stalwarts came together for the first time under the prime ministerís chairmanship.
The prime minister set up a four-member committee comprising Elahi, Hussain, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo and Raja Parvaiz Ashraf to work out a joint strategy of canvassing in the AJK elections.
ìAfter entering into a coalition, the PPP and PML-Q will face the first test of their popularity during the forthcoming elections in the AJK,î said an observer. Prime Minister Gilani stressed upon all democratic parties to ensure free and fair elections in AJK and asked the Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan to take every possible measure to maintain complete transparency in the elections.
He also emphasized the need for political decency, tolerance and accommodation by all political parties participating in the elections. Senior Minister Elahi assured that his party would back the PPP candidates and stressed the need to work out a joint strategy to win the elections with a big margin.
The meeting was also attended by Minister for Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah, MNA Qamar Zaman Kaira, MNA Raja Parvaiz Ashraf, MNA Nazar Muhammad Gondal MNA, MNA Tariq Tarar, MNA Nadeem Afzal Chan, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich and Samina Mushtaq Paganwala.