Saturday September 18, 2021

Abdul Qayoom Niazi elected 13th Premier of AJK

August 05, 2021

A Agencies

MUZAFFARABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Sardar Abdul Qayoom Niazi was elected as the 13th Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) by securing 33 votes from the 48 members present in the assembly on Wednesday.

The opposition’s joint candidate, Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Chaudhary Latif Akbar, secured 15 votes. Election for the Leader of the House was held during a special session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, which met in the state’s metropolis with Speaker Chaudhry Anwar Ul Haq in the chair.

Niazi was subsequently sworn in as the AJK Prime Minister by AJK President Sardar Masood Khan. Earlier, Niazi’s nomination papers were filed after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced his name through a letter to parliamentary party read out by Federal Minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur in a meeting.

Sardar Abdul Qayoom Niazi was elected member from LA-18 Abbaspur, a constituency of Poonch considered to be the least developed and located near the Line of Control (LoC), with a lead of more than eight thousand votes against his rival Pakistan Muslim Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Chaudhry Yaseen Gulshan.

He was earlier elected as a lawmaker in 2006 elections on a Muslim Conference ticket and served as minister for food and forest in the cabinet of former prime minister Sardar Attique Khan. His elder brother Sardar Mustafa Khan was also a member from this constituency in 1985.

Ali Amin Gandapur felicitated Niazi on his election as AJK’s Prime Minister, and said in a statement that the “seasoned politician” would play a vital role in implementing the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan in the AJK.

He hoped the new AJK Premier would further strengthen the struggle of self-determination for the people of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, Special Assistant to the Punjab Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Niazi’s nomination was a step towards bringing “real change” in the AJK.

A day earlier, PTI’s Anwar Ul Haq and Riaz Gujjar were elected as the AJK Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively. The PTI secured 26 seats in the 53-member during the general election, won three women’s reserved seats on Sunday and bagged the three reserved seats for Ulema, technocrats and overseas Kashmiris on Monday, taking their total to 32.