Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) senior minister Chaudhry Tariq Farooq has admitted that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in the region could not properly exploit the situation in favour of the oppressed Kashmiris in the wake of August 5, 2019 developments in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
Answering questions on Thursday at “Dialogue with Capital Journalists Forum”, an organisation of AJK based senior journalists, Farooq said he personally talked to former premier Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan, Jammat-e-Islami leader Abdur Rashid Turabi and Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider to evolve a joint strategy including organising sit-ins at divisional headquarters across AJK to express solidarity with IIOJK people but both the leaders as well as PM Haider did not consider his suggestion.
Replying to a query on the upcoming general elections in AJK, Farooq accused rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of igniting tensions to put the polls on hold.
“Earlier, the PTI's efforts went in vain to get the polls postponed in the name of Covid-19 pandemic and now they want to achieve this target by provoking emotions and creating an issue of law and order across AJK,” said Farooq, who is also PML-N's senior vice-president in AJK.
Farooq further said that character assassination and use of abusive language against PML-N nominees would not bring the PTI anything except ruining the traditions of tolerance and social harmony that had been the hallmark of AJK’s politics for long.
According to him, the AJK chapter of PTI is facing serious friction and infighting and had failed to do any homework for the elections because it is expecting victory with the majority at plate.
“During the past three or so years, neither did we deliberately tread on the course of confrontation with the PTI led federal government nor did we allow our differences swell beyond a certain limit because our enemy India does not miss any chance to exploit even an inconsequential controversy between Islamabad and Muzaffarabad,” he said.
Farooq further said the PML-N government in AJK is going to complete its 5-year term next month without any major issue.
When asked that since 1985 only those parties had formed a government in AJK that had their parent or like-minded parties in power in Islamabad, he claimed that 2021 elections would reverse that trend.
“Unlike the PTI, we enjoy unity, harmony and unflinching commitment to our leadership. We have popular and influential candidates in all constituencies who will win elections on the basis of the performance of PML-N government,” he asserted.
He boasted that the PML-N government had introduced the National Testing System (NTS) for appointments in the education department, in addition to building the credibility of the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The senior minister said that their government made AJK financially strong and constitutionally stable through passing the 13th Amendment.