Azad Kashmir high court halts PM election till Monday

PTI legislators to challenge decision in Supreme Appellate Court

By: News Desk
Published: 10:38 AM, 15 Apr, 2022
Azad Kashmir high court halts PM election till Monday
Caption: PTI AJK members holding a meeting at a hotel.
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The Azad Kashmir High Court has ordered to halt the AJK Legislative Assembly proceedings till Monday (April 18) while declaring speaker’s actions illegal, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

A two-judge bench of AJK High Court comprising Justice Shahid Bahar and Justice Sardar Ijaz on Friday pronounced their verdict on the petition filed by the opposition. 

The bench declared the AJK speaker’s action regarding holding of election for new prime minister of the Legislative Assembly today illegal. 

The court nullified the PM’s election proceeding that was due to be held in the AJK assembly at 4:30pm today (Friday) and issued a stay order for halting election till Monday. 

On the other hand, sources revealed that the PTI would go to the AJK Supreme Appellate Court to challenge the decision of the high court.  

Earlier, the Legislative Assembly of Azad Jammu and Kashmir met to elect its new prime minister after the resignation of Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi. The speaker set 4:00 pm time for the voting to elect the new prime minister.

The assembly session was convened to table no-confidence motion by the opposition parties against Mr Niazi but as the latter tendered his resignation to PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday, there would be no proceeding on the no-trust move in today’s session. 

The assembly members, however, elect their new Leader of the House. The PTI has nominated Sardar Tanveer Ilyas as its candidate for the office. Though no nomination has been made from the opposition parties so far but PPP leader Chaudhry Yaseen is regarded as a strong candidate for the slot. 

Speaker AJK Legislative Assembly will accept nomination papers today. 

PTI claims 32 party MLAs are united 

The PTI AJK has claimed that 32 of its members are united.

Sources have said that 28 PTI MLAs are staying in a five-star hotel in Muzaffarabad while four MLAs have gone with Sardar Tanveer Ilyas to Islamabad. 

The PTI spokesperson has said that all conspiracies have failed and nobody could stop Mr Ilyas from becoming prime minister of the AJK. 

To win election to become AJK PM, a simple majority of 27 votes is required. Whereas, the spokesperson has claimed that the party’s 32 MLAs are united and they fully support its nominee. 

It seems that Imran Khan’s nominated candidate Mr ilyas has defeated opposition in numbers game. 

The PTI (AJK Chapter) held a meeting of its parliamentarians ahead of assembly session today. The meeting chaired by Ali Amin Gandapur reposed confidence in Mr Ilyas by show of hands. 

PPP to move court against assembly session

On the other hand, opposition leader in AJK Assembly Ch Lateef Akbar objected to the election of prime minister during today’s session, saying that today’s session was specifically convened for tabling no-confidence resolution. 

He said when a prime minister resigns, the President is constitutionally bound to convene the assembly session in 14 days. The Assembly Speaker is not entitled to summon assembly session for the election of new Leader of the House. 

He said since the only agenda of today’s assembly session was no-confidence motion, therefore it was unconstitutional to hold election for prime minister. 

He further said that it was prerogative of the house that it could alter agenda item after suspending rules during normal assembly proceedings but the assembly sitting which was specifically summoned to table no-trust resolution was not a normal proceeding and no other agenda item could be taken on that day.

Talking to newsmen, Lateef Akbar said the PPP has decided to file a petition in court to block today’s assembly session. “They have torn the Constitution and the rules into pieces,” he added. 

AJK president accepts Niazi’s resignation 

Meanwhile, AJK President Barrister Sultan Chaudhry on Friday accepted the resignation of Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi from the office of prime minister of Azad Kashmir. 

The PTI ministers submitted no-confidence motion against their own prime minister saying Mr Niazi had failed to deliver and he had lost confidence of the party MLAs. 

Mr Niazi on Thursday when he was still prime minister, dismissed five of his important ministers including Sardar Tanveer Ilyas.  

The PTI in order to save its government in AJK which could also have seen defections if Niazi had continued to remain the AJK PM, party head Imran Khan sacrificed him.

After AJK election in July 2021, the PTI emerged as the biggest party. Sardar Tanveer Ilyas was the powerful candidate for premiership. But Imran Khan chose Niazi who did not have much support of PTI MLAs. 

Reporters Safeer Raza and Awais Kiyani