Published On: Fri, Apr 21st, 2006

Launch of Pro-accession PML – Peoples’ Muslim League

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The political scene in Azad Kashmir is replete with betrayals, greed and non use of a mature judgement. Islamabad has kept 12 refugee seats in its bag to propose or dispose governments in Muzaffarabad. It does not matter whether refugees vote or do not vote for these 12 seats. They are elected and gifted by Islamabad to their favourite political formations in Muzaffarabad.

A group of 12 members in the legislative assembly also hangs on the head of any political formation as the sword of Damocles. It is a ‘behave well’ writing on the wall.

This corrupt and corroding number has other tributaries which make the political representation and the mechanism of an expressed politics in Azad Kashmir a joke.  The election of 5 women, 1 Ullm-e-Din or Mushaikh, 1 technocrat or professional and 1 from State Subjects residing abroad through an indirect mechanism, at variance to a reference to the people makes the system corrupt at core.

In a total of 48 members in the legislative assembly, election of 20 members rests purely on favour and fraud.

89 member Jammu and Kashmir assembly on the Indian side at Srinagar also keeps 24 seats reserved for the area administered by Pakistan. These seats remain unoccupied.

The constitutional duty of any government in Azad Kashmir until “the future of the State of Jammu and Kashmir is to be determined in accordance with the freely expressed will of the people of the State through the democratic method of free and fair plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations as envisaged in the UNCIP Resolutions adopted from time to time”, is “to provide for the better Government and administration of Azad Jammu and Kashmir”.

This duty is further envisaged in section 11 of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Interim Constitution Act 1974. This duty has been argued by JKCHR from December 1992 to April 1999 in the High Court of Azad Kashmir.

The duty of the government is to secure conditions favourable to the Rights Movement of a people distributed under three administrations on either side of LOC. There is no room for any advocacy for an accession to Pakistan prior to the process and time stipulated in article 257 of the constitution of Pakistan. The process and wisdom envisaged in article 257 too is voluntary.

Sun does not keep its shine in Azad Kashmir unless it is so blessed by the establishment in Islamabad. The launch of a pro-accession party “Peoples Muslim League” by former AJK premier and leader of opposition in the AJK legislative assembly Barrister Sultan Mehmoud Choudhry on Thursday 20 April 2006 would not have happened without a full or a marginal okay from Islamabad. If so, it is of course an unwise nod.

At the outset it is a formal betrayal and Sultan Mehmoud has repeated it a second time. He betrayed Liberation League and now has formally betrayed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, who first introduced him to a group of Kashmiris from both sides of LOC during her first visit to Bradford as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Sultan Mehmoud is a colourful Choudhry and his closets are full. It was overwhelming influence of PPP and then his surreptitious deal with ‘Lucifer’ that he latched on to politics. The tribal itch of the Choudhry’s of Punjab was handy and they patted his political hump.

Sultan’s “Peoples Muslim League” a pro accession to Pakistan political party would be the only Kashmiri political formation which shall have its central secretariat at Islamabad. It may have its own reasons to betray its own geography. It has decided not to go to its people but expects them to come to it in Islamabad.

“Peoples Muslim League” in Azad Kashmir may have cleverly chosen to sell a cheap phrase to render itself for a favourable consideration, in fact has created a space and a rationale for the launch of another party which could rightfully advocate “an accession to India”.

The launch of a political party which advocates accession to Pakistan has caused a jurisprudence of ‘legitimate expectation’ that other State Subjects living in any area administered by the government of Azad Kashmir on the Pakistani side of Kashmir are free to launch a political party and advocate “an accession to India”. A pro accession to India party shall have an equal right to take part in an expressed politics and stand for election to the legislative assembly.

If giving a due representation to a pro accession to India is the embedded wisdom then of course “Peoples Muslim League” is going to make a difference. It may then be the first exercise of a ‘mature judgement’. Islamabad may of course turn turtle when it looks at and stumbles against the ‘other side of the wisdom’, that is, an access to people in equity and good faith by all schools of opinion embedded in UNCIP Resolutions.


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