AJK govt spells out five-point charter of demands

Calls for removal of Kashmir Affairs Minister Barjees Tahir

MA Mir January 17, 2016
Minister for Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir Affairs Chaudhry Barjees Tahir. PHOTO: FILE


Spelling out a five-point charter of demands (CoD), the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government has asked the federal government to sack the Minister for Kashmir Affairs Barjees Tahir. The CoD, signed by 18 AJK ministers, was sent to the federal government on Sunday, sources told The Express Tribune.

The AJK government has a long charge sheet against the federal minister for Kashmir affairs. Barjees Tahir used abusive language against AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed during recent public rallies at Bhimber and Mirpur, reads the CoD. At one rally, he called Majeed a ‘Pahari Bakra’ (wild buck), and at another he called him a Bakri (nanny-goat).

Kashmir cause: AJK govt opposes provincial status for Gilgit-Baltistan

“The use of such abusive language will have a negative impact on the brotherly relations between Kashmiri and Pakistani people,” says the CoD. “For this very reason, we demand Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif immediately replace the federal minister for Kashmir affairs Barjees Tahir.”

Secondly, the AJK government called upon the federal government to stop issuing the Kashmir Council funds to candidates of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in AJK who, it claimed, were using the money to woo voters in the upcoming elections for the AJK Legislative Assembly.

Thirdly, the AJK government demanded release  of Rs6 billion collected by the Kashmir Council from taxpayers in the state. Fourthly, the AJK government accused the Kashmir Council of using the same taxpayers’ money through the PML-N’s lawmakers in their constituencies.

Lastly, the AJK government called on the federal government to lift a ban imposed by the Planning Commission through the Kashmir Council on development projects and creation of new posts in the region.

Increasing interference: AJK to lodge protest with federal govt

“Delaying the appointment of a chief election commissioner (CEC) is unconstitutional, and through the CoD the AJK government urges the Kashmir Council chairman [the prime minister of Pakistan) to advise the AJK government on permanent appointment of a CEC,” reads the CoD, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.

When contacted, the special assistant to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on political affairs, Dr Asif Kirmani, said it was AJK Premier Majeed who had first used abusive language against the PML-N leaders and even hurled serious threats.

“What else the AJK prime minister and his ministers can do except for corruption and protest demonstrations? The days of the AJK government are numbered, and the PML-N will form the next government in the state with the support of people after winning the upcoming elections,” Dr Kirmani added.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2016.



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