Published On: Mon, Jul 29th, 2013

No Trust Motion fails in Muzaffarabad

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By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani –

In theory there is a High Court Judgement by CJ Khawaja Muhammad Yusuf Saraf in Muhammad Rafique Dar Vs The State Case (PLD 1973 AJK 51) that “Azad Kashmir Government is successor of Maharaja Government.” The Constitution Act 1974 submits that Muzaffarabad Government is an interim arrangement “to provide for the better Government and administration of Azad Kashmir until such time as the status of Jammu and Kashmir is 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”, yet in practice politics in Muzaffarabad has remained under the tutelage of the ruling party in Islamabad. The other most important factor remains the hidden interests of the establishment and secret agencies.

No Trust Motion

The No Trust Motion brought by two ruling People’s Party (PPAJK) dissidents against the Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed on 22 July 2013 could not be voted on in the Assembly because on 26 July 2013 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif advised the Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK) chapter of his Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) to stay away from the no confidence move. The move was led by another Chaudhry – Chaudhry Sultan Mahmood. Sultan Mahmood has graduated through Azad Muslim Conference, Liberation League and finally settled down into PPP. Over the years he has gained in experience to be on the side of the establishment.

Nawaz Sharif’s decision

Nawaz Sharif’s decision is no more than the routine political reflex in Islamabad and it has exposed the PML-N PaK leaders as no more than his master’s voice. They had thrown their weight behind the no trust resolution. Sharif did not give audience to PML-N PaK president Raja Farooq Haider to hear from the horse’s mouth reasons and justification for supporting the no trust move.

Charge Sheet

Nawaz Sharif has stopped the popularly elected members of the Legislative Assembly in Muzaffarabad from prosecuting the No Trust Resolution (Charge Sheet) deposited on 22 July 2013 with the Assembly secretariat against the Prime Minister. What are the merits of the No Trust Resolution and what are the merits of this interference in the Legislative Process from Islamabad, need a thorough examination.

Prime Minister PaK has been accused of serious charges. Among many other charges the No Trust Motion reads that he “has caused irreparable harm to Kashmir freedom movement, identity of the state, governance and developmental activities besides violating merit, ruining institutions, unlawfully distributing development funds and inducting favourites, instead of eligible persons in the Public Service Commission.” The resolution levelled serious corruption charges against Majeed Chaudhry citing some allegedly controversial deals which had been repeatedly surfacing in the Legislative Assembly as well.

Colonial Dictate

There is no denying the fact that the common voters in PaK have outsourced their political interests to Peoples Party, Muslim League and MQM, the three parties represented in the Assembly and with influence in Islamabad. The local political voice has adjusted itself with the hidden machinations of the establishment. No change in Muzaffarabad could be possible, unless cleared in the files of the establishment.

A lot has changed in Pakistan and Nawaz Sharif’s coming into power is seen as a right change in Pakistan. Unfortunately, Mr. Clean did not see the merits of the Charge Sheet littered with serious charges and did not regard the due process in the Assembly of any consequence. The charges are serious and these were to be put to a vote on the floor of the assembly. One would have hoped that Nawaz Sharif would advise his party to vote on the merits of the No Trust Resolution and in the interests of the people and the oath taken by the elected members.
The manner of interference and the decision to ignore the gravity of charges levelled against the man in charge in Muzaffarabad, has the signature of a colonial dictate. Nawaz Sharif may have a quid pro quo in his mind to woo the PPP in Islamabad for Presidential vote. The hope failed and PPP have decided to stay away from the Presidential election. His decision has left PaK chapter of his Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) with egg on its face.

Faryal Talpur and Syed Khurshid Shah

There may be an elected Government in Muzaffarabad. In fact the reigns are held by two non-Kashmiris namely, President Asif Ali Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur and Syed Khurshid Shah. Chaudhry Majeed is a square peg in a round hole and does not need to moor himself. The No Trust Resolution had created an in-house opportunity to correct the politics and things around it. Unfortunately, the political reflex in Islamabad does not change with the change here. It may be that Nawaz Sharif did not see any merit in bringing in another political stud from the same ‘horse farm’, trained by the same trainer.

Irreparable harm to Kashmir freedom movement

Although irreparable harm to Kashmir freedom movement is a genuine and a serious charge brought against the PM PaK, yet the fact remains that no Government or the PM in PaK has any say in this regard. It has remained an exclusive of the establishment and the system in Muzaffarabad does not have a role.

It is true that a common cess named ‘Liberation Cess’ is levied here to raise revenue for Kashmir Liberation Cell. However, this money collected since 1990 and the monies raised as a result of Islamic Summit Resolution of December 1994 (Held in Morocco) are controlled by non-Kashmiri hands and the PaK Government acts as a conduit to grease various palms and cause enormous corruption. This money has been used to corrupt politics and opinion makers on either side of UNMOGIP supervised cease fire line. It has been used to corrupt people in India, Pakistan and in other capitals of the world. An army of non-Kashmiris has joined in as experts on Kashmir and these funds are used to keep a self-serving constituency of influence against India.

New Lease of Life

If Nawaz Sharif had not taken the wind out of the sails of its party members supporting the No Trust Resolution, the no confidence against the prime minister had to be voted after three days but not later than seven days from the date of its submission in the Assembly. Following its passage by majority of the total membership of the Assembly (currently 48), the person named as the successor (Chaudhry Sultan Mahmood) would have assumed the office of prime minister, bringing an end to the term of his predecessor and his cabinet. Chaudhry Majeed has been granted a new lease of life at the cost of a due process and against the legislative rights of the members who had brought the no confidence motion.
PaK chapter of Muslim League has come under severe criticism and social media is full of substantive criticism. Nawaz Sharif has also come under severe criticism for acting in such a manner in the affairs of PaK. The debate is not going to die here but it would continue in the weeks and months that follow. The big brag of PaK chapter of Muslim League has come to nothing and it would be very difficult for these Kashmiri members of the assembly to prove their political masculinity.

Successor of Maharaja Government

Chaudhry Majeed and Chaudhry Sultan Mahmood are law graduates and would have done fairly better if they had defended the Pakistan Administered Kashmir Government as a successor of Maharaja Government as held by the High Court in Muhammad Rafique Dar Vs The State Case (PLD 1973 AJK 51). Elected members of PaK Assembly would have been true in the discharge of their public trust if they had restrained the Government of Pakistan to the jurisprudence of its assumed duties under UNCIP Resolutions in PaK.

Unfortunately Governments of Pakistan have found a way around the restraints accepted under Tashkent Declaration and Shimla Accord and have used the various Governments in Muzaffarabad as conduits for their propaganda against India and to fool the people on the other side, until a generation was killed and with it the right of self-determination killed for a long time to come.

Pro bono action

Nawaz Sharif may have temporarily saved Chaudhry Majeed from the drop of the blades of the guillotine. The charge sheets however, could be prosecuted against him and in particular that he “has caused irreparable harm to Kashmir freedom movement, identity of the state, governance and developmental activities besides violating merit, ruining institutions, unlawfully distributing development funds and inducting favourites, instead of eligible persons in the Public Service Commission,” has come into the public domain and any court could take cognizance of it. It would be very difficult for Nawaz Sharif to stop the wheels of justice turning against Chaudhry Majeed or anyone else. There is a scope for a pro bono action.

Author is London based Secretary General of JKCHR – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.  He is on UN register as an expert in Peace Keeping, Humanitarian Operations and Election Monitoring Missions. He could be reached on email dr-nazirgilani@jkchr.com


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