POK Azad Kashmir assembly election 2016 || By Javed Inayat || LIVE IMAGE

Azad Kashmir assembly election 2016 has been just concluded this week. According to official results Nawaz league has secured 32 seats out 41 total seats based on direct voting. The other seats are  technocrats, women and Scholars which would be allotted to each wining party as per their average total will be 49 seats. It is really hard to believe that Nawaz league has clean sweep in this election but opposition parties have been complaining of pre poll rigging. It has been observed trend among AJK voters that they mostly vote for that party which is in throne in Islamabad. 
 
AJK region has been under the tight grip of Pakistani state imposed undemocratic institutions. This region has been ruled through an interim act 1974.  Act 1974 has been designed in such a way that it takes almost all powers from local elected government and gives more power to unelected institutions imposed by Islamabad. Kashmir council is an upper house of AJK region and its has 15 members half of them selected by Pakistani government and its head is Pakistani PM. 

 Power lies with AJK Council and Pakistani PM can dismiss AJK elected PM any time without telling any reason and it has been done several times . Ministry of Kashmir affairs and lent officers are also from Pakistan and rest of the power lies with them. Minister of Kashmir affairs never elected by AJK voters but he has been elected by Pakistani voters. 

Lent officers and Kashmir affairs ministers have neither been answerable to AJK government nor local voters.  Kashmir council has authority to even collect taxes and other revenues from AJK citizen without consulting AJK government. Act 1974 has 56 clauses and 53 of them used by Kashmir council. AJK government has been elected by local state citizen but it can stay at the helm of affairs as long as masters in Islamabad are happy with it. 
 
AJK Government system has been made dysfunctional  and disable through imposing unelected institutions from out side. It is neither dictatorship nor democracy but a temporary colonial administration which only takes care of interests of Pakistani rulers and their lent officers. Financial corruption among local bureaucracy and Pakistani lent officers has been rampant. AJK dysfunctional government institutions have been badly failed to provide basic life facilities to local state citizen. 

Unemployment is 90% among local educated youth and it has been forcing skilled and unskilled workers to migrate to other countries. As a result of economic hardship,  47%  AJK population has been living abroad and rest goes to seek employment in Pakistani cities where they take odd jobs. There has not been single state institution locally provides jobs training and job opportunities to educated youth. 
 
New elected Noon league government is taking power in this volatile region. There has been widespread disappointment and disillusionment among youth in the region. AJK government cannot do anything for them due to no financial control and lack planning. Education and health care system has been completely broken and it needs immediate attention.  AJK ruling elites have been playing subservient role to please their bosses in Islamabad. Islamabad is the one which makes and breaks AJK governments even though representatives have been elected by their local voters. 
 
Now the main issue in AJK region is empowerment of local state citizen including honoring their voting mandate.  It is being given great chance to AJK base Nawaz league leadership to take bold steps towards empowering the region by taking back constitutional powers from Kashmir Council. Abolishing all unelected foreign imposed institutions would be first step towards right direction. 

Would  it be possible for Noon league elected leadership to  take back their rights to decide for their  citizens and voters? Second step would be to take control of finance to get financial independence locally. If AJK elected government would not take these steps what would be reaction to state citizens?  Only change can satisfy AJK citizens and restore their basic citizenship rights. Time will only answer this question. 
 
 Azad Kashmir assembly election 2016 has been just concluded this week. According to official results Nawaz league has secured 32 seats out 41 total seats based on direct voting. The other seats are  technocrats, women and Scholars which would be allotted to each wining party as per their average total will be 49 seats. 

It is really hard to believe that Nawaz league has clean sweep in this election but opposition parties have been complaining of pre poll rigging. It has been observed trend among AJK voters that they mostly vote for that party which is in throne in Islamabad. 

 By - Javed Inayat

From - Pakistan OccupiedKashmir


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