MUZAFFARABAD: Mired in one controversy after another amid his electioneering ventures in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur received a setback on Friday as the region’s Election Commission slapped a ban on his participation and speeches in election-related events in AJK.
A letter to this effect was sent by the commission’s secretary Sardar Mohammad Ghazanfar to AJK’s chief secretary Shakeel Qadir Khan with a directive to ensure implementation of the decision and submission of a compliance report.
It said that the commission had come to know that Mr Gandapur had made unpleasant comments in his speeches at different public meetings in AJK, apart from announcing development packages worth billions of rupees.
Mr Ghazanfar said the decision was taken also because the acts of the minister were not only creating law and order problems but had also triggered fears of loss of human lives.
He asked the chief secretary that Mr Gandapur should be “respectfully” made to leave the territorial limits of AJK or else responsibility of any untoward incident would rest on the shoulders of the administration.
The commission’s decision against Mr Gandapur came hours after AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider criticised the chief election commissioner and both the constitutional members of the body over “utter failure in fulfilling their responsibilities”.
Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2021