ISLAMABAD: Sultan Mahmood was elected as the president of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Tuesday by the region's legislative assembly. Mahmood was supported by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which won the election held on July 25.
He secured 34 votes against his rival joint opposition candidate Mian Abdul Waheed, who received 16 votes. He will succeed Sardar Masood Khan whose tenure will end on August 24. Mahmood is a veteran politician and also served as the prime minister of PoK between July 1996 - July 2001.
Mahmood is the PTI's regional president and was elected as a member of the legislative assembly from LA-3, Mirpur-III. India has rejected the recent elections in PoK, saying the "cosmetic exercise" was nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to "camouflage its illegal occupation" and that it has lodged a strong protest over the issue.
Reacting strongly on the elections in the PoK, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Pakistan has "no locus standi on these Indian territories" and it must vacate all Indian areas under its illegal occupation.