AJK Polity—Whitherto?

Amid detectable hopes of surfacing an affable n’ jovial ambiance in South Asia-“of-course with the solution of the Kashmir Issue atop-“an hapless n’ paradoxical scenario has clutched the polity of Azad Kashmir, always depicted as the base-camp for the liberty of a part of the Himalayan State from the despotic clutches of the Indian yoke.

The milieu, which is being envisioned to persist-“with the resignation of four decidedly significant cabinet colleagues of the AJK Prime Minister, Sardar Sikandar Hayat-“as many more are all-set to eject-“has lifted a lot of eye-brows with a question mark, which is overtly for the present Premier-“for what is evaluated as his ‘lust for power’-“at every cost.

As is indexed in the folio of AJK political hierarchy, this course was set off, just before the year-2001 polls when Sikander picked-up an amazing choice to articulate a bunch of his aficionados by enunciating a sort of forward block-“in the ranks of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference-“the most credible, leading n’ bona fide voice of the Muslims of the State, ever- since 1946.

However, the lucid, cogent and pragmatic heir of late Choudhury Ghulam Abbas, who authored the party-“the lucid, cogent and much-adored n’ globally-admired apex leader of AJKMC, Sardar Muhammad Abdul Qayyum Khan triumphed in saving the party from a split n’ accommodated the ‘far-fetched n’ fantastic aspires’ of Sikander-“manifestly in the best national interests n’ to shield the party from any polarization-“which befit the alluring Kashmir cause.

The venerated Qayyum went to the extent of even withdrawing the candidatures of his illustrious son, young Atique Ahmed Khan from the slot of AJK Premiership-“as he [Atique] have had a hefty number of elected MPs-“with an outright support.

Despite all this, the mindset of Sikander remained torpid n’ languorous-“as he left no chance divulged to eschew party’s critical n’ crucial affairs and instead opted to go for zest to promote himself by obliging a few in a repugnant way-“to clutch their sympathies-“for a ‘future course of action.’

The poor people of the fabulous soils of Azad Kashmir, who attached a lot of hopes with the coming into power of a egalitarian regime-“turned disillusioned as nothing new was done by the Sikander-led government to ameliorate their lot-“nor was any developmental activity set off-“for the eventual affluence of the territory.

What-ever came to the exchequer of the State, was as a substitute put in squander in promoting the Pejaro-culture-“at the cost of the jobless n’ deprived masses. As is assumed, a number of his cabinet members-“very frequently-“urged the PM to set-aside such a course-“yet each voice of this type-“proved nothing except a drift in wilderness.

Uptight with such a setting-“these pragmatists-“were left with no option but to say ‘good-bye’ to their boss.

Instead of listening to his-“exiting colleagues-“the AJK Premier-“went far a jagged n’ frayed reaction n’ came on the resigning Ministers with a volley of strongest words ‘censuring’ their democratic right and doughtily ‘condemned their resignations, phrasing it-“as “an act of blackmailing”.

A spokesman for Sikandar, contended that ‘this was a conspiracy to spoil the credibility’, what he claimed as ‘of democratic institutions in AJK.’ He beamed a toxic caution that the PM could dissolve the Assembly ‘if Ministers did not withdraw their decision of resignations.’

The newest scenario foresees that a political crisis is brewing in AJK.

Though fuller details of the grievances of the Ministers have not surfaced, yet they have leveled serious charges against Sikander-“which include nepotism and corruption. As per reports, five more ministers and some of the parliamentary secretaries have also made up their mind to follow the suit, which is symptomatic of major upheaval in the ruling Muslim Conference against the incumbent Prime Minister.

As is evident, seeds of disenchantment were sown at the very beginning of the formation of the present Government in Muzaffarabad. There have been inter-groups rivalries within the party and it was apprehended that they might turn into a grave crisis.

It appears that the Prime Minister has not been able to take his Cabinet colleagues and other party members into confidence-“majority of whom having substantial influence in their constituencies.

Differences in a party or Government are considered to be a healthy phenomenon in a democratic set-up if these remain within manageable limits.

Yet-“in this episode, it seems that the ruling Muslim Conference is without a doubt heading towards a show-down, which would destabilize its Government. In any case, this does not augur well for the future of the AJK Government. It is all the more lamentable that differences have emerged at a very crucial juncture.

We have repeatedly been pointing out that AJK is the base camp of the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people and people living on the other side of the Line of Control (LoC) have great expectations from leadership and people on this side of divide. It is time not only for the Government but also the Opposition parties of Kashmir to show greater harmony and unity to defend their interests in the coming days. We, therefore, urge the Prime Minister and party leaders to sit together and try to address the gripes of the repellent members.

The departure of the resigning Ministers marks the beginning of the crisis. It is not yet known as to what was the igniting cause. Nonetheless, the simmering coals now seem to be sizzling.

A few raison d’être being aired in a pandemonium-like state of affairs in AJK polity is the Sinkander-regimes’ failure in accelerating the tempo of development in Azad Kashmir-“which by now has been almost stagnant and standstill, with no visible relief to the common man and his [Sikander’s] frequent and persistent absence from

Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir plus his posture towards the raising of Mangla Dam, frequent demands from the federal government for the payment of royalties and that too without any logic, his reported rapport-“backed by affinity-“with the AJK-PPP faction of Barrister Sultan Mahmood, who violently criticized the Musharraf Government at the London moot of the PPP-“this week-“and still claims the bestowal of back-up for him [Sultan] from the ruling party of Pakistan, PML (Q) chief, Ch. Shujaat Hussain, on the basis of ‘Ja’at’ brodery [family].

With no verification of Shuja’at’s patronage or soft spot for Sultan visible, a cute Sultan sticks with his aver n’ avow-“perhaps to inject a noxious shot for the schism in the ranks of the Muslim Conference-“with an allure for yet another atypical n’ unique ‘joy-ride’ in Azad Kashmir.

While suggesting to the chief of the PML (Q), a spirited soul, Ch. Shuj’at Hussain-“to air his factual perceptions about free n’ frequent vacationer n’ voyager abroad, the Sultan-“who is a momentous limb of a party-“opposed to President Musharraf and even Jamali-led government in Pakistan, we would-“simultaneously counsel the AJK PM-“to abstain from from any act that places Muslim Conference-“in any embarrassing pose.

Instead of any scuffle or skirmish-“within his party which crowned him with a lofty slot in Azad Kashmir-“Sikandar is ought to choose an apt course-“by getting in touch his legitimate n’ sagacious leader, Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan-“to sort-out all types if mystifications n’ confusions via an instantaneous face-to-face interaction.

Shunning fashion of egoism, the current AJK PM-“shall not only be able to complete his tenure-“without any let or hindrances, but would also save the Kashmir cause-“from all perils, explicitly when a new chapter of history in the wake on India-Pak dialogue is almost close to be cataloged-“expectantly with the realization of the cherish goals-“of the gallant Kashmiris, who have already suffered a lot, even to the magnitude of offering supreme sacrifices, almost a million-“at the behest of antagonistic rule in IHK.

Any laxity by the AJK Premier-“at this stage-“would not only upset the entire process, but he [Sikander]-“too would never be exonerated or pardoned by any feisty soul of this charismatic realm-“more exclusively by the historians-“in the making.

Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control [Loc] would like to see an end to the crisis in Muzaffarabad. Finally, we would like to air a potent caution that-“no negative signal should be allowed to go across [the LoC]-“in any style.