MUZAFFARABAD: Friction in the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) became more visible on Sunday after more than a dozen members of the parliamentary party stayed away from a luncheon meeting hosted by AJK President Barrister Sultan Mahmood in their honour at his camp office in Kashmir House Islamabad.

According to Sardar Imtiaz, an adviser to the AJK president, invitation for the meet was extended on behalf of the presidency by him and some lawmakers to 30 parliamentary party members, leaving out the remaining two members — Prime Minister Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi and senior minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas.

However, the names of the attendees mentioned in a press release, issued by the president’s office, made it clear that only 17 had accepted the invite while Speaker Chaudhry Anwarul Haq, Deputy Speaker Riaz Gujjar and 11 others, including five ministers and three advisers, had kept themselves away.

According to the press release, the parliamentary party members apprised the president of their problems in their constituencies and departments. They also complained that the “prime minister was not holding consultations with them and was rather ignoring them in matters related to their respective constituencies”.

Underlining the need for improving overall performance, President Mahmood observed that “…neither the government has been able to create goodwill among the masses nor our workers are satisfied with it”.

While exhorting everyone to fulfil his duties to bring about improvement, he said without mincing words that it was particularly binding upon the AJK prime minister to carry out his responsibilities for the much-needed improvement so that the government could make headway in accordance with the vision of PTI chairman and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2021

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