MIRPUR – General elections in Azad Jammu & Kashmir are underway and being carried out in a free, fair, peaceful and transparent manner, in anticipation of the completion of the AJK Assembly’s constitutional term.

According to the AJK Election Commission, polling began at 8:00 am and will continue till 5.00 pm without any formal pause.

The elections are being held under the supervision of Pakistan Army and Rangers with the help of local civilian law enforcement agencies, including the AJK police, the Punjab and KPK police and the Frontier Constabulary

A total of 423 candidates including those belonging to various political parties as well as independent candidates are in the running for 41 seats, which are to be filled through polling based on direct adult franchise.

Those exercising their right to vote include a total of 26,74,586 registered voters, including 12,28,930 male and 10,06,772 female, in all 29 constituencies of ten Azad Jammu and Kashmir districts and 4,38884 registered voters, including 2,54,817 male and 1,84,067 female, in all 12 constituencies meant for Pakistan-based Jammu & Kashmir refugees.

Registered voter shall have to produce their original computerized national identity card at the polling station at the time of voting.

Legislative assembly members will be elected on 41 out of 49 seats through direct voting, including 29 meant for all 10 districts of AJK and 12 including six each meant for Pakistan-based refugees from Kashmir valley and Jammu & others.

The Assembly also includes eight reserved seats including five meant for women and one each for technocrats, ulema / Mashaikh and overseas Kashmiris. These will be filled later on through voting by the electoral college of the 41 directly elected members of the house.

According to the final list released by the AJK Election Commission, a total of 26,74,586 eligible registered voters would move to the total number of 5,429 polling stations comprising 8,008 booths in all 41 constituencies including 29 in AJK and 12 of Pakistan-based Jammu & Kashmir to exercise their right of vote.

The number of polling station in 29 AJK electoral constituencies is 4,462 comprising a total of 6,270 polling booths. Polling staff has yet move to their respective destinations and places of duty, the AJK Election Commission said.

Over 30 thousand Pakistan Army troops have reached all 41 electoral constituencies in AJK to assist the civil administration in maintaining a completely peaceful environment during the polls.

The AJK Election Commission has set up a control room to receive the elections results from all the concerned District Returning Officers soon after the polling.