All is set for holding general elections in Azad Jammu & Kashmir on Sunday (today) in a free, fair, peaceful and transparent manner. A total of 32,50,117 registered voters, including 178,800 male and 1,468,317 female, in all 33 electoral constituencies in 10 districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir will exercise their right to franchise. Moreover, all 12 constituencies meant for Pakistan-based Jammu & Kashmir refugees, would exercise their right of vote to elect the Azad Jammu Kashmir Legislative Assembly, for next five years’ constitutional term. Over 2.8 million voters have been registered in 33 AJK constituencies and 0.4 million in 12 Jammu Kashmir refugees based in various parts of Pakistan. The registered voters shall have to produce original computerized national identity card at the polling station at the time of exercising the right to vote. Polling will start at 8.00 in the morning and will continue till 5.00 pm without any pause. A total of 691 candidates including 381 belonging to a total of 32 registered political parties and a total of 310 independent candidates are in the run to win the election to 45 seats. The elections are being held under the supervision of AJK judiciary, Pakistan Army and Rangers with the coordination of the local civil law enforcement institutions, including AJK police as well as the civil armed forces of Punjab, KP police and Frontier Constabulary to assist the local civil law enforcement authorities to ensure holding of polls in a free, fair, peaceful and transparent manner. The troops to be deployed to maintain peace and order during the polls include 5,300 AJK police cops, 12,000 from Punjab police, 10,000 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police and 1,000 from Islamabad police, 400 Frontier Constabulary personnel and 3,200 Rangers personnel, to be backed by at least seven thousands of Pakistan army troops. The constitutional term of incumbent AJK Legislative assembly is expiring on 29th July, 2021. The polling will be held on direct adult-franchise basis on 45 seats of the 53-member AJK Legislative Assembly, including 33 meant for all 10 districts of AJK and 12 including six each meant for Pakistan-based refugees from Kashmir valley and Jammu region. Rest of eight reserved seats including five meant for women and one each for technocrats, ulema/mashaikh and overseas Kashmiris will be filled in later on by the electoral college comprising above 45 members of the house to be elected on direct adult franchise basis on Sunday. AJK Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (r) Abdul Rashid Sulehria Saturday assured that the election commission has finalized all special arrangements to ensure fair, peaceful and transparent elections in AJK. “Election Commission is asking everyone at the polls to observe social distancing inside and outside of polling places, wearing face masks, etc,” he said. He expressed satisfaction over the election arrangements, process and security related matters, adding that AJK election would be held amid tight security arrangements and the anti-Covid standard operating procedures (SOPs). He said that the voters should bring their national identity cards along and that they are bound to wear face masks, adding that notices will be issued to different candidates over violating election code of conduct. Replying to a query, he said that women are equally participating in the election. He was also confident of around 50% to 60% voter turnout and said that all the voters belonging to any field of life are enthusiastic to vote for their favorite candidates on the election day. To another question, he warned that no one would be allowed to take law into hands, adding that the leaders of all political parties should ensure implementation of the election code of conduct for conducting elections peacefully.