The people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) should be granted the same basic human rights enjoyed by the people of Pakistan.
AJK Legislative Assembly Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Chaudry Tariq Farooq gave the proposal during a press conference at the Kashmir Press Club on Saturday.
The opposition leader also underscored the need to empower the AJK government to run local affairs independently by bringing about required amendments in the state’s interim constitution. He proposed that the state’s defence, currency and foreign affairs should continue to be in the control of the government of Pakistan, while the powers of Pakistan Prime Minister-led AJK Council, the upper house of the AJK Parliament, should be reduced and transferred to the chief executive of the AJK government. “This will ensure early dispensation of basic human rights to the masses across AJK at large,” he remarked.
Farooq further called for granting authority to the AJK government to appoint judges of the superior judiciary, chief election commissioner, auditor general and other top slots.
“A fully empowered government of AJK could better perform not only to serve the people but also to raise the Kashmir cause and the Kashmir freedom struggle both at home and abroad,” he maintained. He said that the under the existing interim constitution of AJK – act 1974, the AJK government does not enjoy complete power.
On his party’s stance about any change in the existing position of AJK, Farooq said that his party was against any attempt of giving provincial status to AJK through emerging the liberated territory into Pakistan as a province. “Every attempt of the incumbent Pakistani rulers about making AJK a province of Pakistan would be resisted by the PML -N,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2012.
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