Sharif picks Raja Farooq as AJK PM-elect ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday nominated Raja Farooq Haider as the Leader of the House for the newly-elected Legislative Assembly of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). Since the PML-N claimed an absolute majority in the recently held polls, Mr Haider is sure to become the next prime minister of the region.
PM Sharif had invited the newly-elected members of the AJK assembly to his office, where they were informed about Mr Haider’s selection. The meeting was also attended by senior PML-N leaders, including Raja Zafarul Haq, Khawaja Asif, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Ishaq Dar, Pervaiz Rashid, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Minister for Kashmir Affairs Barjees Tahir.
Following his nomination as AJK’s PM-elect, Mr Haider said: “I will try to live up to the confidence of my leadership. My agenda will be merit, good governance and zero-tolerance for corruption.”
PM Sharif congratulated party office-bearers for running a successful election campaign and securing a majority in the legislative assembly, said an official communiqué released after the meeting.
He said it was their good luck that they were part of Azad Kashmir, living the lives they chose to. In the same breath, he reminded them that they must not forget their brethren, who were facing Indian repression just across the border.
“The issue of Kashmir is part of the United Nations’ incomplete agenda. Pakistan will continue to offer its moral and diplomatic support for the right of self determination of Kashmiris,” the prime minister was quoted as saying. He added that the leadership of Azad Kashmir must also strive to help their brothers and sisters in India-held Kashmir secure independence.
The prime minister also impressed upon the incoming AJK cabinet that their stint in power should be remembered as an era of prosperity and peace for the region for which they have to follow policies based on merit and transparency.
Infrastructural development, health, education and creating of employment opportunities should be the top priority of the new government, PM Sharif said, briefly laying out the development agenda to be followed in the region over the next five years.
Criticising the outgoing PPP government, PM Sharif that said unfortunately no development work was done over the past five years, hence, it was responsibility of the new government to plug areas which were left unattended.