Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq elected unopposed new AJK PM in a dramatic manner
Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq secures 48 votes in 53-member Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly
Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq is the third prime minister elected from the current Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly
Newly elected PM AJK says he secured power with the cooperation of Pakistan Democratic Movement
Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan says Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq deceived Imran Khan
MUZAFFARABAD ( Web News )
Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq has been elected new prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir in a dramatic manner. Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq elected 15th PM AJK from 53 member AJK Legislative Assembly while securing 48 votes in a late night voting. No other candidate had submitted papers for the office.
Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq is the third prime minister elected from the current Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly. The ice has melt after the election of Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq is as PM AJK, which persisted after the disqualification of former PM AJK Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan in contempt of court case by AJK Hith Court.
The disgruntled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member legislative assembly Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq had enjoyed the support of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq obtained 48 votes out of a 53-strong house — the biggest mandate in the history of the Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly. Four lawmakers who did not vote include two PTI members Ali Shan Sooni, Begum Shahida Sagheer, Sardar Atiq Ahmed Khan of the Muslim Conference and Sardar Hassan Ibrahim Khan of the Jammu Kashmir Peoples Party.
The development took place after Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan’s disqualification by the AJK High Court in a contempt case.
Earlier on Monday, an assembly session held to elect a new prime minister was adjourned without any polling taking place.
Several senior PTI leaders visited Muzafarrabad and tried to bridge differences between the warring factions led by Barrister Sultan Mehmood and Tanveer Ilyas but failed to achieve desired results.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan also held a meeting with the ex-AJK PM in Lahore but the party didn’t nominate anyone for the coveted post.
However, an emergency meeting of the AJK Legislative Assembly was convened in the wee hours on Thursday to elect the prime minister.
Interested candidates were given only 15 minutes to submit nomination papers after which the voting took place.
Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq was elected unopposed as no other candidate filed nomination papers against him. He was elected by a forward bloc of PTI and opposition parties, including the Pakistan People;s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
In his inaugural address to the assembly following his election, he said that he contested the election as an independent candidate, emphasising that he garnered the support of both the PDM and PTI members. Chaudhry also struck a chord with opposition parties and set a power-sharing formula with them.
Chauhdry Anwarul Haq, the speaker of the AJK LA, received the support of 31 MLAs, including 12 from the forward bloc, 12 of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and seven of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The disgruntled PTI members of Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly incldue Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq, Azhar Sadiq, Majid Khan, Akbar Ibrahim, Rafique Nayyar, Chaudhry Riaz, Taqdees Gillani, Pir Mazhar Saeed, Javed Butt, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Nisar Ansar Abdali and Sardar Muhammad Hussain.
According to Article 17 of the AJK Constitution, election of the prime minister is necessary in the ongoing AJKLA session. However, because of lack of a clear majority, the session was postponed for many times.
Initially, the session was convened at 2:00 PM Wednesday but it was delayed amid hectic political manoeuvring. Consequently, a new election schedule was issued by the speaker late in the night and the proceedings started at 12:40 AM Thursday.
Meanwhile, in his reaction to Anwar-ul-Haq’s nomination, former AJK PM Tanveer Ilyas slammed Anwar and said nothing against the party policy will be tolerated. “Chaudhry Anwar used to say that I am doing this to save the party, today the conspiracy has been exposed,” he said. “Chaudhry Anwar Haq told something to Imran Khan and something else to the Azad Kashmir establishment.”
Ilyas said that Khan didn’t nominate anyone for the prime ministership of Azad Kashmir. He said that Chauhdry Anwarul Haq has deceived Imran Khan.
While congratulating Anwar-ul-Haq for being elected unopposed, senior PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi termed the development a “farewell to the PTI government in AJK”. “Their fate will be the same in the rest of Pakistan,” he tweeted.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also congratulated the newly elected prime minister.
It is worth mentioning here that Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq hails from Bhimber distrcit of Azad Kashmir and was elected from LA-7 Bhimber on the ticket of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Prior to the issuance of the voting shecdule for the election of the leader of the house, Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq submited his resignation from the position of speaker AJK Legislative Assembly and later on his name was present for the slot of PM.