AJK POLITICS (July 2013): The tussle over power in Azad Jammu and Kashmir seems to have reached the climax, as Barrister Sultan Mehmood-led camp has managed to get support of the required number of parliamentarians to topple the PPP-led government. Well placed sources said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had directed PML-N parliamentarians in the AJK assembly to remain impartial during the no-confidence vote against incumbent Prime Minister Abdul Majeed. Insiders said Sharif’s latest stance had been welcomed by AJK premier Majeed who was learnt to have thanked Sharif for discouraging his men from toppling his government. A no-confidence motion was brought against the AJK premier last Monday following which several ministers and advisers tendered their resignations.
Voting on the motion will be held in July 26 session of the AJK assembly, for which the speaker summoned the session on Wednesday. Eleven members of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly would vote for Barrister Sultan, making it clear that the federal government was not behind the no-trust move, which was initiated by members of Pakistan People’s Party. Aides to Mehmood said at least 30 PPP ministers had submitted the no-confidence motion after tendering their resignations, he added.
Talking to The Nation Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Barjees Tahir said he visited Azad Jammu and Kashmir on the invitation of Prime Minister Majeed last week. He said PML-N respected the mandate of all other parties and that the party leadership had advised its members to wait for elections. He said PML-N had been in a position to form governments in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but it respected the mandate of other parties, since it wanted to strengthen democracy.
He said PML-N according to its policy would try its best to eliminate corruption. AJK Prime Minister Majeed dismissed four ministers and two advisors of his cabinet from their offices with immediate effect, a private television reported citing Radio Pakistan. The ministers removed from office included Minister for Auqaf Muhammad Afsar Shahid, Minister for Rehabilitation Abdul Majid Khan, Minister for Power Chaudhry Arshad and Minister for Agriculture Sardar Akhtar Hussain Rabbani. The advisors removed were Chaudhry Muhammad Akhlaq and Muhammad Akmal Sargala.
Only a couple of days ago, the AJK cabinet also saw the resignation of six ministers following the submission of the no-confidence motion against the AJK premier by Mohammad Hussain and Majid Khan, two assembly members from Pakistan People’s Party. The ministers resigning – Barqiyat Chaudhry, Majid Khan, Akbar Ibrahim, Hussain Sargala, Afsar Shahid, Akhtar Hussain Rabbani and Azhar Gilani – were also joined by three advisors in voting for the no-confidence motion against Majeed. These ministers and advisers proposed the name of Sultan Mehmood who belonged to Pakistan People's Party as leader of the House.
Reported by The Nation