Centre accused of trying to influence AJK polls
29 June 2006
Islamabad: Sardar Abdul Ghaffar, Muslim Conference (Haqiqi) leader and brother of former AJK Prime Minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan has accused the centre of trying to influence the upcoming AJK polls. Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday, he alleged that the secretary-general of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML) Mushahid Hussain was playing the key role in this and claimed that pressure from Mushahid Hussain forced the AJK Election Commission to disqualify his son from contesting election. “The interference of Mushahid Hussain has made the elections controversial before taking place,” he remarked. He said Mushahid Hussain had played a role in dislodging Nawaz Sharif government and alleged that he was now hatching conspiracies against Gen Musharraf. He criticised his real nephew and President All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference Sardar Atiq Ahmad Khan and accused him of loot and plunder in Azad Kashmir. He said the Election Commission had declared the assets of all the candidates, with the exception of Sardar Atiq Ahmed Khan. He said Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan had divided the party into pieces to make his son Sardar Atiq the prime minister of Azad Kashmir. Later speaking at a press conference, Sardar Atiq Ahmed Khan rejected the allegations of loot and plunder levelled against him by his uncle and said those who loot the national exchequer could not survive in the political arena for a long time. He said the polls in Azad Kashmir were supposed to be held under the supervision of the army and said there was no use of maligning Mushahid Hussain Syed who had done a lot for the Kashmir cause. He did not say anything against his uncle, but said the accusations being hurled against him by Sardar Ghaffar were politically benefiting him. Giving the salient features of his party’s election manifesto, he said the Muslim Conference would take full responsibility of the settlement of around 4,000 families affected by Mangla Dam upraising, if it was voted to power again. He said tourism would be declared as an industry and steps would be taken to develop tourist points. He said helipads would be established in the far-flung areas of Azad Kashmir with the objective to promote tourism. He said steps would be taken to preserve water reservoirs, exploit and market precious mineral resources and promote cottage industry and agriculture. He said the women would be given effective representation in the assembly and the local bodies. He said local bodies elections would be held six months after the formation of government. Kashmiri expatriates will be allowed to cast their votes through postal ballots, he added. Meanwhile, leader of Jammu Kashmir People’s Party from Haveli Abdul Waheed Durrani quit his party and joined Muslim Conference on the occasion. Sardar Atiq welcomed Mr Durrani into the party fold and said it would ensure the success of party’s nominee from Haveli Mohammad Alam Rizvi with a clear margin.