February 2004 News

Efforts to resolve AJK crisis initiated

28 February 2004
The Dawn
Our Staff Correspondent

MUZAFFARABAD: A 'reconciliation mission' constituted by AJK prime minister Sardar Sikandar Hayat held separate meetings with Muslim Conference head Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan and MC president Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan on Saturday in a bid to put an end to the crisis within the ruling party. The mission group comprising AJK Assembly Speaker Sardar Siab Khalid, five ministers, a parliamentary secretary and former PAC chairman talked with Sardar Qayyum for over an hour, and later held a long meeting with Sardar Attique stressing upon both to play their role to 'end the crisis and save the party's government,' a source said. But no breakthrough has been achieved so far. So far six ruling party legislators have handed over their resignations to Sardar Qayyum in protest against the policies of AJK prime minister Sardar Hayat. They are Revenue Minister Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, Industries Minister Masood Khalid, Finance Minister Shah Ghulam Qadir, Zakat and Transport Minister Hafiz Hamid Raza, Ulema-Mashaikh Council Chairman Syed Shaukat Shah and Parliamentary Secretary Mir Ali Akbar. The resignations were given to Sardar Qayyum because despite serious reservations of the parliamentary party's majority regarding the nomination of Sardar Hayat as PM, he gave the guarantee that things would be all right, one of the ministers told Dawn. However, the veteran leader withheld the resignations and instead asked Sardar Hayat to resolve the grievances of the disgruntled elements of the party. On Saturday, AJK Finance Minister Shah Ghulam Qadir met Major General Wasim Ashraf, General Officer Commanding, 12 Div, and conveyed the sentiments of the disgruntled elements to the Murree- based general, who is also incharge of AJK affairs. The ministers have been annoyed for long for being constantly ignored by the PM in matters pertaining to their departments. Mr Qadir brought a number of instances to the notice of the GOC, saying it was difficult for them to work with a prime minister who would himself ridicule and undermine their authority in public. He told the GOC that it had become impossible for them to further tolerate the mockery of their office. Soon after Mr Qadir's meeting, Sardar Hayat also called on the GOC but the contents of the meeting could not be ascertained.


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