Haq sworn in as 15th AJK PM

Newly-elected PM vows to step down if he fails to serve the masses and establish the rule of law in the region

APP April 20, 2023
Chaudhry Anwarul Haq, newly-elected prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. PHOTO: FILE


Chaudhry Anwarul Haq was sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Thursday, hours after he was elected unopposed to the office by a thumping majority by the Legislative Assembly.

AJK President Barrister Sultan Mahmood administered the oath to Haq at a ceremony at the New Prime Minister House in Muzaffarabad, attended by lawmakers from all the three major political parties in the region.

Earlier, Haq bagged 48 votes in the 52-member House, belonging to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as well as the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

The MLAs, who did not vote for Haq were Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan of the Muslim Conference and the Sardar Hassan Ibrahim Khan AJK Peoples Party, Shahida Sagheer and Ali Shan Soni, of the AJK PTI.

Haq, who belonged to the PTI but contested as an independent candidate, was elected unopposed as the Prime Minister of Azad government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir as there was no other candidate in the fray.

While addressing Legislative Assembly after his election, Haq said that there would be no justification for him to stay in power if he failed to serve the masses and establish the rule of law in the state.

“The prime minister, who has been elected today, will not be removed by the court or the house, but if he fails to serve the people, he will leave the post himself,” he said, referring to the disqualification of his predecessor Tanveer Ilyas over contempt of court.

Reiterating his commitment to fulfilling his obligations as the leader of the house, the newly-elected prime minister made it clear that instead of clinging to power he would prefer to resign the moment he felt that he was not able to serve the people.

Regarding the Kashmiris’ ongoing liberation struggle, the prime minister said that he would try to play his constitutional role effectively to strengthen the Kashmir cause both at the national and the international levels.

Haq thanked the PTI lawmakers for reposing their trust and confidence in his leadership. He also thanked the opposition parties for their all-out support. He added that he contested the election as an independent candidate but got the support of the opposition.

He said that during his two-year term as a speaker he played an important role in the establishment of the rule of law. Referring to the challenges he faced during his term as speaker, Haq said that for him, the speaker’s chair was not even a bed of roses.


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