Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has raised serious doubts about the “sincerity” of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government to bring about long due amendments in the Interim Constitution of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK).
The party alleged on Friday that the PML-N governments in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad were using constitutional reforms as a “ploy” to convert Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) into a province of Pakistan in a move that could “demolish the case of Kashmiris” at United Nations.
“Lately (PaK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider visited me to garner support on constitutional amendments but I have strong reservations about the intentions of the PML-N leadership in this regard,” said PTI regional chief Barrister Sultan Mahmood at a press conference.
Referring to an PaK Services and General Administration Department notification of August 23, 1979, whereby the functions of the PaK Excise and Taxation and PaK Audit and Accounts departments were transferred to the PaK Council “for the time being,” he said Haider should first withdraw this notification and reclaim the control of the two departments to prove his sincerity in effecting constitutional reforms.
“Otherwise, we will be justified in assuming that the PML-N is just playing to the galleries in the name of constitutional reforms while the actual agenda is something else,” he maintained.
Mahmood pointed out that the PaK Council was constituted under the interim constitution to ensure “coordination” between Muzaffarabad and Islamabad but it had turned out to be a “state within the state.”
He alleged that not only that the Council funds were being brazenly squandered on lavish expenses and so-called development schemes, recruitments against the Council posts had always been made by its federal in-charge minister from among his electorate instead of the Kashmiri State Subjects.
He said Haider’s tall claims about abolition of Council and accountability of the previous PPP government had proved to be mere “hoax” because he had been practicing the politics of “muk-muka” on the pattern of his mentors in Pakistan.
“In fact, all those who committed or facilitated corruption in the past five years of PPP rule have become (PaK) PM’s lackeys,” he alleged.
Opposing conversion of GB into a province, the PTI leader stressed that the region should either be given an PaK like status, or both PaK and GB should be merged with each other in accordance with an AJK High Court judgment by the then chief justice Abdul Majeed Malick.
GB, PaK and Indian administered Kashmir were three entities of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and segregation of any one of them would demolish the case of Kashmiris at the UN, he maintained.
“If they (Islamabad) have any such thing in mind, why are they perpetuating the miseries of the Kashmiris? They should simply tell us to wind up our struggle (for freedom),” he said, and called upon people from all walks of life to play their role in frustrating “conspiracies aimed at division of Kashmir.”
Mahmood also came down upon PaK president Sardar Masood Khan, saying installation of a former official of the Foreign Office was “manifestation of Pakistan’s distrust of Kashmiris.”
Asked why he had raised objection eight months after the presidential election, he said: “Islamabad’s intent about GB status has exposed the motive behind Khan’s selection for this slot.”
In response to a question, he said he enjoyed complete support of PTI chairman Imran Khan, who had mandated him to take decisions on Kashmir.