MUZAFFARABAD: Raja Farooq Haider Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz became the 12th prime minister of Azad Jammu & Kashmir on Sunday after winning the confidence of the new legislative assembly.
Raja Farooq secured 38 votes in the 49-member assembly that held its first session in Muzaffarabad. Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Party (JKPP) president did not attend Sunday’s session.
A joint candidate of Muslim Conference and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Ghulam Mohiuddin Dewan and Chaudhry Mohammad Yaseen of the Pakistan Peoples Party, garnered five votes apiece.
Earlier, the resolution for the election of Khan as AJK prime minister was moved in the assembly by Ahmad Raza Qadri.
The newly elected prime minister in his maiden speech said there is no room for corruption and violation of merit in AJK.
“The liberation movement in Occupied Kashmir would be the PML-N government’s priority and I assure the people of Srinagar that we would remain at your side till the final solution of the Kashmir dispute.”
Later, AJK President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan administered the oath to Raja Farooq Haider Khan in a simple but impressive ceremony here in the lawn of Legislative Assembly.
Besides assembly members, politicians and senior administration officials attended the oath-taking ceremony.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated Raja Farooq Haider on his election as the AJK PM, according to a PM House statement issued in Islamabad.
He expressed the hope and confidence that the new AJK premier would work for the development and prosperity of AJK people and support the people of Occupied Kashmir in their just and legitimate struggle for their right to self-determination.
PM Nawaz assured the newly elected prime minister of the AJK of his fullest support in extending the development and reform agenda of the federal government in AJK as well which aimed at “revolutionising the lives of people socially, economically and politically”.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2016.