The PML-N AJK has demanded early elections to the AJK Legislative Assembly to ensure emergence of true democratic government in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, representing the actual mandate of the people of the State.

The demand was emphatically raised by the PML-N AJK Women Wing Central President and former AJK information minister Noureen Arif while speaking at a dinner hosted in her honour by the party Samani Tehsil President Haji Raja Munir Ullah Khan the other night. A large number of local PML-N leaders including City President Tahir Mirza, Raja Kamran Manzoor, Advocate Ch Khalid and others also spoke on the occasion.

Noureen Arif recalled that the mandate of the AJK people was hijacked allegedly in, what she called, the massively-rigged June 2011 elections to the Legislative Assembly on the part of the PPP candidates on the behest of the party’s (PPP) central leadership.

She pointed out that it could be gauged from the fact that a total of 23 electoral petitions (containing objections) were filed in the electoral tribunals by the candidates, declared unsuccessful, against the PPP candidates who were declared winner, soon after the elections. She said that after the reported withdrawal of the two petitions by the petitioners, 21 electoral petitions were still lying pending with the electoral tribunals and the petitioners were waiting for early decisions over their petitioners by the concerned tribunals without further delay.

Lashing out at AJK PM Ch Majeed-led coalition government, the PML-N leader charged the incumbent PPP regime with indulging in massive corruption, malpractices and irregularities in all fields of the state-run institutions to siphon off public money through unfair means to earn illegal money out of the state assets including forests. In this connection, Mrs Arif also referred to the recruitment of the army of coordinators, ministers and other irrelevant lucrative positions from amongst the ‘Jiyalas’ without any merit.

Responding to a question, Noureen Arif said that her party did not immediately favour the in-house change in Azad Jammu & Kashmir. “The in-house change to replace the incumbent Prime Minister Majeed with any other PPP legislator through the constitutional step of any no-trust motion will be mere the change of face and an eye-wash and it will not fully meet the requirement for restoration of the hijacked mandate of the AJK people”, she categorically observed.

To another question, she said that his party in AJK did not want to take any type of immediate benefit of the current split, differences and grouping in the treasury benches of PPP-led coalition government in AJK through any no-trust motion against the sitting Premier. She opined that any such move could indeed benefit the PPP again through change of the leader of the house. “So that’s why, the PML-N AJK demands holding of fresh elections in AJK to ensure the establishment of true representative government of the masses of the liberated territory”, she declared.

About the PML-N priorities for early peaceful resolution to Kashmir issue, Noureen Arif said the PML-N under the dynamic leadership of Nawaz Sharif had categorical and unequivocal stance vis-à-vis early peaceful resolution of the Kashmir conflict in line with the aspirations of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. She pointed out that Prime Minister Sharif had already expressed the policy of his party and the government towards the settlement of Kashmir conflict through peaceful means. She said that the Kashmir issue, will, indeed, resolve during the incumbent popularly elected PML-N regime.