Attique nominated for post of AJK prime minister27 July 2010
MUZAFFARABAD: All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference president Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan was nominated by lawmakers of his party and an allied group on Tuesday for the post of leader of the AJK Legislative Assembly in place of Raja Farooq Haider who resigned on Monday to avoid a no-confidence motion. Raja Farooq boycotted the process, leaving Sardar Attique as the only candidate in the field for the post of AJK's prime minister. Assembly's secretary Syed Ashiq Hussain issued a schedule for nomination, scrutiny, withdrawal of papers and publication of a final list of candidates for the office of prime minister after President Raja Zulqarnain Khan summoned an assembly session on Thursday to elect a new leader of the house. The process began at 4pm on Tuesday and will end on Wednesday afternoon. Supporters of Sardar Attique, including the lawmakers who had ditched him in January last year, submitted 12 papers, proposing and seconding his name for the post. Staying away from the process, the camp of Raja Farooq has criticised the convening of the assembly by the president by ignoring the advice of the outgoing prime minister to summon the session on August 6. Talking to reporters in the office of Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir, MLAs Raja Nisar Ahmed, Raja Naseer, Syed Shaukat Shah, Raja Mohammad Siddique and Major (retired) Raja Munsaf Dad said that when Sardar Mohammad Yaqoob Khan resigned as prime minister in October last year the assembly session was convened after one week. 'The president being constitutional head does not enjoy any executive power, but he has once again acted beyond his authority. We wonder why this process is being conducted in such haste,' one of them said. Although Sardar Attique is the only candidate, polling is mandatory and he is required to obtain at least 25 votes in the assembly. He is supported by 22 legislators of the 30-member MC parliamentary party and six members of the so-called 'Friends Group'. Two members of the group, which has been in the combined opposition since October last year, had moved the no-confidence motion against Raja Farooq on July 22. The People's Party AJK, which has seven seats in the assembly, has also declared its 'unconditional' support for Sardar Attique. 'We will sit on the treasury benches, but we will not take any share in the government,' PPAJK president Chaudhry Abdul Majeed told reporters. There are reports that the People's Muslim League will also vote for Sardar Attique, but its chief Barrister Sultan Mehmood was conspicuous by his absence from Muzaffarabad on Monday.