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PoK elections would be a farce: India

India has reiterated that the elections scheduled for next month would be a farce, like in the past, due to the stiff conditions laid down on candidates.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2006 22:50 IST

India reiterated on Monday that the elections scheduled to be held in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir next month would be a farce, like in the past, due to the stiff conditions laid down on candidates.

Political parties and candidates who do not declare their allegiance to the accession of the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan have been barred from contesting the July 11 elections.

"We have seen media reports that Pakistan has disqualified all political parties and candidates that failed to meet the condition of declaring their allegiance to the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan from contesting the forthcoming elections in what Pakistan calls 'Azad Jammu and Kashmir' (AJK)," an external affairs ministry spokesman said.

"This confirms that the elections in the so-called 'AJK', scheduled to be held on July 11, will be a replay of the earlier exercises in which the people did not have the freedom to vote for political parties and candidates of their choice.

"It also exposes the insincerity of Pakistan's proclaimed policy that the future of Jammu and Kashmir should be decided by its people," the spokesman added.

According to the official, this disqualification was "particularly glaring" in the light of President Pervez Musharraf's proposal of introducing self-governance in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Besides, the forthcoming elections in the so-called 'AJK' underline the absence of any form of representative government in the so-called 'Northern Areas' of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, the residents of which are deprived of even their basic right to vote, as elections have never been held there," the spokesman pointed out.