July 2006 News

Abdul Qayyum projects son as Pakistani Kashmir leader

3 July 2006
Indo-Asian News Service

Islamabad: Sardar Abdul Qayyum, for long the president and prime minister of the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir, is lobbying for his son to lead the region in case his Muslim Conference party wins the July 11 elections there.The News daily described the son, Sardar Attique, as a 'young ambitious sardar'. Qayyum took him to separate meetings with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz recently 'to get blessings if Muslim Conference comes out with an impressive electoral showing'.'There was no official word on whether or not Musharraf stands behind the young ambitious sardar. But an informed guess is that the president did not demonstrate any aversion to Attique if the Muslim Conference is victorious in the election to the Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly,' the newspaper said.Attique, around 50 years of age, is considered a moderate like his father. In the Pakistani Kashmir elections, the Muslim Conference faces rivalry from the Pakistan People's Party, Islamist parties and a number of local parties and groupings. Only those candidates who owe allegiance to Pakistan have been permitted to contest.India has officially criticised the election law that insists on the candidates having to declare their allegiance to Pakistan. Kashmiris who demand independence and a number of human rights groups have also criticised this law.


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