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PPP, PML-N, JUI-F to boycott meeting on G-B elections

Major opposition parties decided on Saturday to stay away from a meeting convened by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on September 28 to discuss electoral reforms and the upcoming elections for the Gilgit Baltistan Assembly.

According to a private TV channel, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and the Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz (PML-N) had decided to boycott Monday’s meeting of the parliamentary leaders.

On Friday, the speaker asked the parliamentary leaders in the National Assembly to share their proposals for bringing reforms in the existing election process as well as for the upcoming G-B elections in order to introduce a more robust, fair and transparent voting.

“The Speaker National Assembly & Federal ministers have nothing to do with elections in GB. We condemn the interference of federal government in the elections. My party will only be engaging with the Election Commission GB on our demands for fair elections,” Bilawal said in his tweet.

In his invitation letter to the parliamentary leaders, the speaker had said that there had been ongoing debates and concerns with regard to the holding of fair and transparent elections in Pakistan as well as in the context of upcoming elections of the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly.

“We, as representatives of people of Pakistan, should effectively address these concerns by proposing suitable mechanisms and amendments in the existing laws/rules/procedures from the apex forum of parliament,” Qaiser had said.

Those invited to the meeting included Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Shehbaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Asad Mahmood, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Akhtar Mengal, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Khalid Hussain Magsi, Ghous Bux Mahar, Sheikh Rashid, Shazain Bugti and Amir Haider Azam Khan.

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