MUZAFFARABAD: In a widely anticipated move, PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif on Friday dissolved party’s entire organisation in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), forming a 15-member organising committee for reorganisation and fresh election of office-bearers within two months.

According to a notification issued by party’s central secretary general Ahsan Iqbal, the organising committee is headed by Shah Ghulam Qadir, former regional secretary general, and includes former regional president Raja Farooq Haider as one of the 14 members.

The remaining members are Chaudhry Tariq Farooq from Bhimber, Chaudhry Mohammad Saeed from Mirpur, Raja Naseer Ahmed Khan and Zulfiqar Ali Malik from Kotli, Raja Mushtaq Minhas from Bagh, Chaudhry Mohammad Aziz from Haveli, Sardar Abdul Khaliq Wasi from Poonch, Dr Najeeb Naqi from Sudhnoti, Noreen Arif and Barrister Iftikhar Ali Gillani from Muzaffarabad, Dr Mustafa Bashir from Jhelum Valley, Raja Mohammad Siddique and Syed Shaukat Shah from Kashmiri refugees based in Pakistan.

Except for Mr Malik and Mr Wasi, the rest were part of the cabinet in the previous PML-N government. Of these 15 members, only Mr Qadir and Mr Haider have returned in the July 2021 elections from Neelum and Jhelum valleys, respectively.

The notification declared that all wings of the party as well as its organisational set-up in Pakistan and overseas would also stand dissolved.

It said the reorganisation and election for new office-bearers would be held on the basis of divisions, districts, electoral constituencies, union councils, wards and polling stations in consultation with the members of the organising committee within two months.

The PML-N was launched in AJK in December 2010 with Mr Haider and Mr Qadir as its chief organiser and secretary organising committee. At the first convention in Mirpur in April 2012, Mr Haider, Mr Farooq and Mr Qadir were elected unopposed president, senior vice president and secretary general. However, afterwards the party could not hold a second convention.

The differences in the PML-N AJK chapter came into the open late last month after Mr Qadir, Mr Tariq Farooq and Mr Minhas overturned the nominations of some United States-based PML-N workers for overseas party offices by Mr Haider during his private USA tour, saying the move was not only “in contravention of a consensus on re-organisation but had also caused irreparable damage to the party’s goodwill.”

When contacted, Mr Qadir said the reorganisation and fresh election of office-bearers was a unanimous demand of all party workers.

“We will accomplish this task within the stipulated period by taking every worker on board,” he added.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2021

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