Two POK Ministers Resign5 May 2011
Muzaffarabad: Two members of the Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) cabinet on Thursday tendered their resignations to Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, virtually rendering him as a head of a minority government. The resignations by Minister for Information and Environment Mahmood Riaz and Minister for Zakat and Ushar Attiqur Rehman Faizpuri followed the sacking by the premier of Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation Abdul Majid Khan while leveling serious allegations against him. According to sources, Riaz sent his resignation to the Prime Minister late on Wednesday night a few hours before taking a London bound flight. A spokesperson for Riaz, who was elected against a special seats reserved for the overseas Kashmiris, told Greater Kashmir that he sent his resignation via email at the Prime Minister’s official e-mail address. Sources said the Prime Minister’s office kept on tracing Riaz as it was unaware about his departure to UK. Sources claimed that in his resignation Riaz had taken strong exception to the removal of his colleague (Abdul Majid Khan) and said since the same could happen with him as well he did not deem it fit to stay in the cabinet. On Thursday, Faizpuri, who was also elected against a special seat reserved for Ulema-Mashaikh, sent his resignation to the PM House. He wanted to personally hand it over to the premier but the latter flew to Islamabad out of a sudden engagement there. Faizpuri, who heads little known Jamiat Ulema-e-Jammu Kashmir, has recently entered into an electoral alliance with the Peoples Party-PaK, had cited the very development as a reason for his resignation. Khan, Riaz and Faizpuri, it may be recalled, had voted for a PP-PaK candidate in the PaK Council election in February. Apart from them, two other cabinet members – minister for works Col (retired) Raja Muhammad Nasim and minister for rehabilitation and civil defence Chaudhry Muhammad Ismail – had voted for the candidate of opposition PML-N. Of them, Nasim was shown the door by the premier on March 8 but Ismail was still a part of the government although he had also decided to submit his resignation to the premier on Friday. “I am on way to Islamabad. I will see the premier and submit him my resignation,” he told Greater Kashmir by telephone. He said he was an office bearer of the PML-N in Pakistan and since the party had been launched in PaK, he could not remain associated with the Muslim Conference. Following the sacking and resignations of four ministers, the strength of the government had reduced to 21 in the currently 48 member house, which is 5 members short of simple majority. This correspondent made several attempts to seek the viewpoint of the Prime Minister or any of his spokespersons but none was attending phone calls.