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Motion moved in Senate against Azad Jammu-Kashmir PM

01 August, 2017

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ISLAMABAD / MUZAFFARABAD: An adjournment motion has been moved in the Senate of Pakistan to discuss the remarks made by Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider.

Mr Haider was quoted as saying on Saturday that judgements such as the one in the Panama Papers case against Nawaz Sharif would force the people of Azad Kashmir to consider whether or not to accede to Pakistan.

According to the video of his press talk being circulated on social media, Mr Haider uttered the allegedly controversial remarks after he turned his guns on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan.

However, on the same day, he said his statement was quoted out of context. Mr Haider assumed the office of AJK prime minister on July 29, 2016, for the second time in seven years, as a candidate of the PML-N, almost a week after the party swept general elections to the region’s Legislative Assembly. Senator Sehar Kamran has submitted an adjournment motion in the upper house of parliament stating that the statement of the AJK PM was of vital significance for Pakistan’s national interest.

“The people of AJK have given countless sacrifices for accession to Pakistan. The statement of the AJK PM at this point of time holds great importance and it should be discussed in the house by adjourning the routine business of the Senate,” she said.

Pakistan Peoples Party vice president Senator Sherry Rehman called for resignation of the AJK prime minister.

She said: “It was shocking to hear such a statement coming from the PM of AJK. His loyalty should be with Pakistan and the people of AJK. Questioning AJK’s allegiance to Pakistan over partisan loyalty to the PML-N is unacceptable. He must resign immediately.”

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry has supported the demand for resignation of the AJK prime minister.

On Monday, AJK PM Mr Haider again held a press conference and suggested that opposition parties and some media houses should not do politics over the issue of Kashmir.

“Kashmir is a very sensitive matter and Indian media has been highlighting that the AJK PM has demanded accession of AJK to India. Leaders of the PTI, PPP and Sheikh Rashid Ahmed should not use that issue for personal gains,” he said.

In reply to questions, he said that he was still of the view that the decision against Nawaz Sharif was unjust.

According to an official handout, Mr Haider reaffirmed that the future of Kashmiri people was linked with Pakistan.

On Monday, a handful of PML-N workers staged a protest outside the press club against the PTI, in defiance of a ban imposed by the district administration on political gatherings. They chanted slogans against Mr Khan and torched his portraits.

The PTI said it would hold a demonstration in Muzaffarabad on Tuesday, with the party’s regional chief Barrister Sultan Mahmood among its participants.

“All freedom-loving Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control are filled with indignation at the unconstitutional and irresponsible statement of Mr Haider because it has provided India with an opportunity to launch a vicious propaganda campaign against our sacred cause,” said Khawaja Farooq Ahmed, PTI’s senior vice president in AJK.

Shaukat Javed Mir, PPP’s secretary in AJK, said his party would hold protest demonstrations across AJK on Wednesday.

PPP lawmaker in Punjab Khurram Jahangir Wattoo also tabled a resolution in the provincial assembly calling for Mr Haider’s resignation.

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