The Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) chapter of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will host an all parties' conference later this month to reach a consensus on issues linked to the forthcoming general elections in the territory.
"We have extended invitation to the heads of eight political and religious parties, excluding the ruling Peoples Party, for the December 30 meeting and all have shown willingness for participation," announced Raja Farooq Haider, PML-N PaK chapter president, at a press conference here on Wednesday.
The meeting would be held on December 30 in a hotel in Islamabad, he said.
Haider, who is also Leader of Opposition in the PaK Assembly, said that the conference would discuss issues like the appointment of AJK Chief Election Commissioner, preparation of fresh electoral rolls through National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and deployment of military or paramilitary troops to ensure smooth and violence-free polling.
General elections in PaK are due by mid next year, as the sitting Assembly completes its term on July 24.
Haider said the ruling Peoples Party had been left out for the reason that all the issues on the agenda of conference were created by it "out of ulterior motives."
"We do not want it to sabotage the purpose of the conference or use negative tactics during the preparations of recommendations," he maintained.
However, he added, the recommendations would also be shared with the PaK government for requisite action on issues lying within its jurisdiction.
"It is unfortunate that the (PaK) government is showing the height of non-seriousness towards steps that are prerequisite for holding free, fair and transparent elections. In fact, they are downcast in anticipation of their defeat, and want to delay elections under one or the other pretext which we will not allow," Haider said.
He also rejected allegations by the PaK government that the PaK Council had placed Rs 5.5 billion at the discretion of PML-N lawmakers for developmental activities in PaK as "pack of lies and part of desperate attempts to divert attention to non-issues."
He pointed out that Chaudhry Abdul Majeed led government owed its existence to Pak premier Nawaz Sharif who had twice saved it, even at the cost of political interests of his party in PaK.
"We provided solid evidence of their (PaK government's) corruption to the PM but he spared them because he did not want to vitiate country's political atmosphere. Instead of realizing his favours, these ungrateful people are hurling accusations at his government," he said of PPP leaders.
Responding to a question, Haider said he stood by his stance on the PaK Council, "but in the absence of constitutional amendments, we have to go by the existing provisions."
He said the PaK Council had been sanctioning development schemes in the same manner for long and almost all PPP legislators had also benefitted from this process.
"When in power in Islamabad, PPP fails to see any bad thing in the Council, but otherwise everything appears to it against the rules and precedents. Their latest bout of allegations against Council reflects the same mentality and is therefore condemnable."