August 2006 News

Delhi student is Pakistan Kashmir's president

27 August 2006
Indo-Asian News Service

Islamabad: Raja Zulqarnain Khan, who did part of his schooling from New Delhi's Modern School, is the new president of Pakistani Kashmir after elections the opposition said was rigged, media reports said Sunday. The July 11 elections, for 41 assembly seats of Pakistani Kashmir ('Azad Kashmir'), were marked by the absence of pro-'azadi' candidates of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and All Party National alliance (APNA).The candidates were required to swear an oath of allegiance to Pakistan, which these parties refused to.Justice Khawaj Muhammad Saeed, chief justice of Pakistani Kashmir's Supreme Court, administered the oath at the spacious green lawn of the Kashmir assembly, The Nation said. In a speech, Khan, 60, pointed out the rehabilitation of victims of last year's earthquake would be the top priority of his government.Khan, who belongs to Mirpur, has been cabinet minister several times. He succeeds Maj. Gen. (Retd) Sardar Mohammed Anwer as president.Political parties, including the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, claimed the Pakistan government rigged the Kashmir ballot in favour of the Muslim Conference. Twelve of the constituencies fall in Pakistan, outside of 'Azad Kashmir'.Khan, who had initially studied in New Delhi, is the son of Khan Bahadur Raja Muhammad Afzal Khan, a former governor and a minister of pre-independence Jammu and Kashmir, newspapers said.


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