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Act 1974: AJK approves 13th Amendment

June 03, 2018

MIRPUR (AJK): Azad Jammu & Kashmir has achieved a major breakthrough in its over 70-year old administrative history after the joint sitting of Azad Jammu Kashmir Legislative Assembly and the AJK Council, held in Muzaffarabad late Friday, approved the much-cherished and much - awaited 13th amendment in Act 1974, the Constitution of AJK, securing more empowerment of the State Government.

It is worthwhile to mention here that the transfer of powers of the AJK Council to AJK government will not only make the liberated territory of AJK financially empowered and autonomous but would also help in the government of Pakistan to directly address the related issues, reportedly enshrined in the amended AJK constitution, mutually with the close coordination of the AJK government - which had, earlier, allegedly been languishing at the mercy of the higher Archie / bureaucracy of the

AJK Council before the 13th amendment in Act 74 AJK constitution.

It may also be noted that AJK Council were enjoying more financial and administrative powers as compared to elected legislative assembly and believed to have worked as a parallel authority in AJK taking 52 of the Subjects / departments of Azad Jammu Kashmir in its control to run including the major Inland Revenue (Income Tax, Excise and Taxation) Department.

This amendment has not only clipped both financial and administrative powers of Council but also transferred these powers back to AJK thus expanding the canvas of decision making and authority of AJK assembly “

It is the historic move unprecedented in the 48 years history since the constitutional democracy was introduced in 1970 as Joint Session of AJK

Legislative Assembly and AJK Council amended the constitution to transfer executive and legislative powers from Azad Jammu Kashmir

Council to Azad government of the State of Jammu & Kashmir”, an official statement issued by the AJK government late Friday night said.

The joint sitting, with Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir in the chair accorded approval to the 13th Amendment in the Constitution of Azad Jammu and Kashmir with majority vote.

The bill titled Azad Jammu and Kashmir Interim Constitution (Thirteenth

Amendment) Act 2018 was presented in the house by Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Javed Iqbal Chaudhry.

Earlier the committee of the house on bills presented its report in the house.

After the passage of the bill, AJK Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture, Chaudhry Muhammad Saeed tabled resolution of thanks, which was adopted by the house.