MUZAFFARABAD: Rela­tions between the ruling PPP and the opposition PML-N in Azad Kashmir, which have been at daggers drawn since Saturday’s clash in Kotli, took a turn for the worse on Sunday when the former announced that it would observe a ‘black day’ on Monday in protest against the killing of ‘its activist’ and the latter called for a judicial inquiry to unearth the facts.

In Islamabad, the PML-N called for resignation of the AJK prime minister, according to APP.

Chaudhry Munshi, 65, was killed when activists of PML-N and PPP clashed in Nakial area and police used teargas to disperse them.


Peoples Party to observe ‘black day’ today in protest against the killing of its activist in Kotli; PML-N calls for judicial probe


The PPP claimed that the deceased was its worker and its leaders at his funeral vowed to bring the killers to justice.

“We will observe a black day on Monday against the unreasonable meddling by federal ministers, their provocative speeches aimed at inciting PML-N workers to create unrest and the murder of a PPP activist,” AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed said at a press conference.

In a scathing attack on the federal government, he said he had urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to rein in his ministers, but to no avail. “Instead of conquering Azad Kashmir, the federal ministers should conquer Srinagar and (Narendra) Modi.”

He said he would soon write to Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and heads of (other) institutions in Pakistan to take notice of the language being used by federal ministers in AJK. He accused the PML-N of vitiating the peaceful atmosphere. “We will not allow anyone to practise the politics of baton and bullet in our territory.”

The AJK premier said his policy of reconciliation was misconstrued as weakness, but such tactics could not “pressurise” him to give in.

On Saturday, the AJK chief secretary ordered the divisional commissioner to submit in 24 hours an inquiry report on the incident.

Without naming him, Mr Majeed said since he was the chief executive no bureaucrat could order an inquiry without his approval.

Information Minister Sardar Abid Hussain Abid and several other ministers also issued almost identical statements accusing the PML-N of resorting to strong-arm tactics to steal victory in the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, Azad Kashmir PML-N’s president Raja Farooq Haider rejected the allegations and said the PPP was trying to exploit the tragedy for gaining political mileage.

“I offer my condolences to the bereaved family. The deceased was related to a PML-N leader but PPP leaders want to do politics on his dead body, which is shameful and disgusting,” he said at a press conference.

Mr Haider, who is Leader of the Opposition in the AJK Assembly, called for a judicial inquiry to unearth the facts. He said that while the cause of death was yet to be determined, PPP leaders were using cooked up stories to influence the investigation and trigger a tribal feud. They also misled their central leadership, he added.

“It’s the PPP which is creating law and order problems under a well thought-out plan because they know that they are now a rejected lot,” Mr Haider said.

Meanwhile, MNA Faryal Talpur, who calls the shots in AJK, has summoned a meeting of PPP’s parliamentary party on Tuesday to discuss the situation.

APP adds: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s adviser Dr Asif Kirmani asked the AJK premier to step down because of his failure to protect life and property of the people.

“The AJK government has completely failed to deliver while corruption is rampant in all state departments and, therefore, Chaudhry Abdul Majeed should quit his office immediately,” he said while addressing a press conference along with PML-N’s AJK Secretary General Shah Gulam Qadir and other party office-bearers in Islamabad.

Dr Kirmani alleged that the AJK prime minister was in Nakial and giving directives to activists of his party during the clash. The incident, he said, demonstrated the “ulterior motive” of Chaudhry Majeed who had distorted facts and conveyed wrong information to leaders of his party.

“PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto should better depute some sane person to get correct information about the incident,” he added.

Dr Kirmani alleged that the participants of the PPP youth rally, while passing through Nikaal Bazaar, had chanted “indecent and vulgar” slogans against the PML-N leadership and then started attacking shops and business outlets owned by people belonging to the PML-N. The activists of his party, he said, reacted in self-defence and the clash broke out resulting in the loss of a precious life which was highly regrettable and condemnable.

The adviser accused the AJK police of encouraging the attackers, launching a crackdown on PML-N workers, raiding their houses and harassing their women and children.

He regretted that instead of registering a case on the complaint of PML-N workers who had either been injured or whose shops and property had been damaged, an FIR was lodged against them. The son of PML-N leader Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan was also nominated in the FIR, although he was not at the place, he added.

Dr Kirmani said the AJK prime minister was even refusing to accept the findings of a commission constituted to investigate the Kotli incident. Chaudhry Majeed should wait for the commission’s report which would unveil facts about the incident, he added.

The adviser said Prime Minister Sharif had directed all party workers to remain peaceful so that elections could be held in a transparent manner.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2016

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