MUZAFFARABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) AJK chapter President Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry filed nomination papers for the slot of Azad Jammu & Kashmir president on Thursday.
Federal Minister Kashmir and GB Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur had announced his name for the presidentship Wednesday night after approval from Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Barrister Sultan’s nomination was proposed by PTI’s assembly member Khwaja Farooq Ahmad and Dewan Mohiuddin, while Pakistan People’s Party candidate Mian Abdul Waheed filed his nomination papers for the slot of joint opposition candidate.
The presidential elections will be held on Aug 17 in the AJK Legislative Assembly, while newly elected president will take oath of his office of on Aug 24. The PTI, being the largest party in AJK Assembly, is expected to get elected its candidate Barrister Sultan as president.
The name of Mr Mahmood was proposed and seconded by PTI lawmakers Khawaja Farooq Ahmed and Malik Zafar Iqbal, respectively, and the name of Mr Waheed was proposed and seconded by PPP lawmakers Chaudhry Latif Akbar and Syed Bazil Ali Naqvi.
Both Mr Mahmood and Mr Waheed are members of the AJK assembly.
The PPP and PML-N have 18 votes in the assembly, but of them two lawmakers from the PPP are yet to take oath of office.
AJK Council nominees
Meanwhile, the PTI has reportedly decided to field Mir Muhammad Younis, Shuja Rathore and Sardar Razzaque for the three seats of the AJK Council that it can clinch easily in elections scheduled for August 23.
A source in the PTI said, Tahir Jamil and Asghar Qureshi were the party’s covering candidates.
Interestingly, Mr Younis, who belongs to Kutla constituency of Muzaffarabad, had contested and won last AJK council election on the PPP ticket, allegedly after doling out millions of rupees to different PPP lawmakers for their vote.
Mir Attique, the PTI candidate from Kutla who lost to the PPP’s Sardar Javed Ayub, was said to have expressed strong reservations about his nomination, maintaining that he [Mr Younis] had avoided extending his support during the campaign and elections.
Similarly, PTI workers were also unhappy over the nomination of Mr Rathore, a Canada based expatriate who had joined the party only recently.
“The party should prefer dedicated and committed workers like Tahir Jamil and not those who come with big briefcases,” one PTI activist remarked.
The joint opposition, which can clinch one seat has decided to file the nominations Chaudhry Pervez Ashraf and Khawaja Tariq Saeed, both belonging to the PPP.
PPP regional president Chaudhry Latif Akbar told Dawn that the party would finalise its candidate before the withdrawal of nominations.
Mr Ashraf had contested the July 25 election from Barnala but had lost to the PML-N candidate. On the other hand, Mr Saeed had helped party’s secretary general Faisal Mumtaz Rathore clinch victory from Haveli district.