Embezzlement of Kashmir funds alleged
13 December 2007
Muzaffarabad: Barrister Sultan Mahmood claimed on Thursday he as AJK prime minister had ordered the arrest of Sardar Abdul Qayyum and his son Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan for their “involvement in a Rs560 million scam in the Kashmir Liberation Cell funds” but the order had been withdrawn on the instructions of higher authorities.” The arrest orders had been issued on the basis of the findings of an investigation committee, implicating both of them in the embezzlement, he said at a press conference. Mr Mahmood, who heads the Jammu Kashmir People’s Muslim League (JKPML), also distributed copies of a ‘Whitepaper on corruption and misdeeds’ of the present AJK government. He said he would publish two more white papers on embezzlement in the funds for Oct 2005 earthquake survivors and the Mangla Dam raising project. Asserting that he had promoted politics of tolerance during his tenure from 1996 to 2001, the former AJK prime minister accused the incumbent set-up of being prejudiced and corrupt. Mr Mahmood called for action against people who had brought the present government into power and said “If they fail to take action, it means they also have some vested interests.” Reiterating that Islamabad and New Delhi had come close to converting the Line of Control into permanent border, he said that the present AJK government had been installed for the smooth implementation of the plan but the Kashmiris would thwart the move. According to him, the AJK government’s plan to relocate the state capital was also designed to “make the freedom struggle a thing of the past”. About his decision to ally himself with Nawaz Sharif’s Muslim League, he said he had not yet decided to launch the party in Azad Kashmir. “We will try to persuade the Kashmiri people settled in Pakistan to vote for PML-N in the elections,” he said.