AJP PM Qayyum
resigns after PTI
members file
no-confidence motion

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Abdul Qayyum Niazi has resigned from office after PTI members filed a no-confidence motion against him.

“I have resigned from the prime minister’s office as my party members filed a no-confidence motion against me,” the Niazi said, hours after he sacked five ministers of his cabinet.

Twenty-five members from the ruling PTI in AJK had filed a no-confidence motion this Tuesday against Niazi, accusing him of failing to implement the party manifesto and creating a mess.

Abdul Qayyum Niazi

The motion — filed under Article 18 of the Constitution of Azad Jammu and Kashmir — said Niazi had lost the confidence of the parliamentary party due to non-implementation of the party manifesto, and mismanagement, nepotism and breach of merit and failure to highlight the Kashmir issue.

The PTI MLAs have proposed the name of PTI regional head Sardar Tanveer Ilyas for the PM’s slot under the Constitution of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

On Tuesday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers submitted a no-trust motion against Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Abdul Qayyum Khan Niazi.

The no-trust motion was submitted by finance minister Majid Khan and Akbar Ibrahim. The motion carried the signatures of 25 PTI lawmakers and it was submitted to the assembly secretariat.

The name of Sardar Tanvir Ilyas has been recommended for the PM slot in the no-trust move.

In the house of 53, the strength of PTI stands at 31 while the AJK legislative assembly is bound to hold voting on the motion within 14 days.

“A resolution to the vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi is being submitted under Article 18 of the AJK Constitution for the following reasons,” reads the hand-written document, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com.

“The prime minister has lost the confidence of the [PTI] parliamentary party for not implementing the party’s manifesto, for [resorting to] bad governance, nepotism and violation of merit, and for not highlighting the Kashmir issue,” it added.

AJK PM Abdul Qayyum Niazi (right) with former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

Since the AJK Constitution makes it mandatory to name the successor of the premier in a no-trust motion, the movers named PTI’s regional president and senior minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas as their choice for the coveted office.

The resolution was signed at the Islamabad residence of former federal minister Ali Amin Gandapur, following which cabinet members Abdul Majid Khan, Muhammad Akbar Ibrahim and Ali Shan Soni submitted it in the assembly secretariat in Muzaffarabad.

The motion was filed under Article 18 of the AJK’s interim Constitution and has the signatures of 25 members of the legislative assembly. According to reports, Sardar Tanveer Ilyas has been nominated as the new leader of the House.

The move comes after the former prime minister Imran Khan was ousted from the government on April 9. Niazi, 61, was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly on July 25, 2021, elections from Poonch district, which lies on the Line of Control (LoC).

His nomination superseded several top party leaders and strong candidates for the coveted post, particularly PTI Kashmir president and former premier Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, and billionaire Sardar Tanveer Ilyas.

Born in 1959, Niazi is a veteran politician who started his political journey as a district councillor.

Hailing from Darra Sher Khan village, which sits on the LoC, he was twice elected as a district councillor between 1980 and 1990.

He started his mainstream political journey from the platform of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (JKMC) – the oldest political party of undivided Jammu and Kashmir – in the 2006 elections.

The PTI parliamentary party comprises 32 members, including PM Niazi.

As the news broke, it was assumed that the PTI lawmakers from AJK had switched loyalties from party chairman Imran Khan — hardly 36 hours day after his exit from the office of the prime minister of Pakistan — by attempting to overthrow his nominee in AJK, just eight months after his election.

However, Khawaja Farooq Ahmed, minister for local government and rural development, was the first to dispel that impression, claiming that the move had Khan’s blessing.

“Let it be clear to everyone that the no-confidence resolution in AJK Assembly has been submitted on the advice of and after approval from PTI Chairman Imran Khan to frustrate a move by PPP-PMLN nexus. We stand united under the leadership of Khan sahib,” he tweeted.