BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: As elections draw nearer, residents of Gilgit – Baltistan [G-B] residing outside of the region have demanded voting rights.
“A large proportion of G-B population is living outside of G-B because of lack of educational and job opportunities,” read an online petition initiated by Ali Taj, a resident of G-B.
“Not including them in the election process will be tantamount to denying them their basic rights,” the petition added.
While elections schedule is yet to be announced, it is expected elections for Gilgit – Baltistan legislative assembly will take place in June.
Though government has no exact figures of how many voters could be outside the region during the polling, it is believed the number could be in thousands.
The general elections for Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly are around the corner which will decide the future government in the region,” said the petitioner, adding the nomination of Chief Election Commissioner and Interim Setup has been finalized and in the coming weeks the both bodies will start initiating the electioneering process.”
“In this regard, we would like to demand the Voting Right for the diaspora of Gilgit-Baltistan living in the major cities down the country.”
He said because of the long distance, many of these people will not be able to reach G-B to vote in the upcoming elections, and hence will be deprived of their basic human right.”
The petition demanded that the election commission and interim government of Gilgit-Baltistan take necessary steps to allow the diaspora of G-B to vote in the elections.
“The voters should be given the facility of postal service or by set up polling stations at DCO Offices in the major cities. Or, allocate Special Seats for the major cities or at-least one as whole for the diaspora of GB.”