Since the status of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Council in the light of UN resolutions is questionable, there is need to introduce reforms in AJK. For this reason, necessary amendments should be introduced in the interim constitution of AJK, keeping in view the demands of civil society, politicians and members of the AJK Legislative Assembly.
This was discussed at a seminar with Justice (retd) Abdul Majeed Malik in chair on Thursday. Malik observed that Pakistan has maintained its stance under the constitutions of 1956, 1962 and 1973 that the Jammu and Kashmir state is not part of Pakistan. Thus its future status is yet to be determined by the people of the state.
“Likewise, Jammu and Kashmir state is not part of India,” he continued, adding that under the Indian Independence Act, the Jammu and Kashmir State acquired the status of an independent state.
He recalled that when the matter was referred to the United Nations, it was decided that the area of the state will be governed by the local authorities, the AJK government, under the surveillance on the UN Commission.
“In October 1947, the people of Jammu & Kashmir state declared the dismissal of the last ruler and constitution of the provisional government representing all the people of the state and claimed its authority on the whole state,” he pointed out.
He stated that the AJK Council, formed under Act 1974, was derogatory and in conflict with the UN resolutions and declaration of October 1947. “A person who was not a citizen of Jammu and Kashmir could not hold and represent public office like members and chairman of the AJK Council, upper house of the AJK Parliament.”
He declared that aforesaid constitutional conflict could be resolved by the repeal of the provisions relating to AJK Council in the Interim Act 1974, “by amendment of the constitution or by voluntarily resigning and separating by the chairman and nominated members of the council”.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2012.