Zardari gives signal to topple AJK PM

14 December 2008
The News International
Mazhar Tufail

Islamabad: A final decision on removing the incumbent Azad Jammu and Kashmir government was taken at a recent meeting between central leaders of the PPP AJK chapter and President Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad, an official said here on Sunday. The source confided to The News after the success of the no-trust motion in the Legislative Assembly that a forward bloc in the ruling Muslim Conference, backed by the AJK PPP and its allies, would elect a new PPP leader of the house. Among others, AJK PPP leaders Chaudhry Abdul Majid, Latif Akbar and Sardar Qamaruzzaman attended the meeting at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. Allies of the PPPAK include Peoples Muslim League, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Party and Muslim Conference. AJK Prime Minister Sardar Attique Khan had earlier offered to include the PPP-AJK in the government if it abandoned the forward bloc in the governing party. However, the source added, it was decided at the meeting the PPP-AJK would not enter into a coalition with the Muslim Conference at any cost. It was decided that after removing Sardar Attique Khan as Azad Kashmir prime minister through a no-trust motion in the Legislative Assembly, a new leader of the house will be elected, disclosed the official, familiar with the discussion among the meeting participants. On the other hand, one Legislative Assembly member from the forward bloc in the Muslim Conference claimed a decision had been taken that the new leader of the house would be elected from the group. But another source said since AJK President Raja Zulqarnain Khan and Legislative Assembly Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir, too, had joined the forward bloc, the PPP-AJK had the right to hold the prime ministerial office. Chaudhry Abdul Majid, the AJK PPP president, who earlier held the office of the speaker, is being tipped as the next prime minister.