MUZAFFARABAD: Terming no confidence resolution against him an “imaginary thing”, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas has denied outright the existence of any “forward bloc” in the parliamentary party of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

“The no-trust motion may be a wishful thinking of some people [in opposition] who have no idea of our strength,” he said at a reception hosted by him in the honour of a group of senior journalists from Lahore and Islamabad at PM House late on Wednesday night.

“Let it also be clear to everyone there is no forward bloc in our party. Instead, at least six opposition members are in contact with us,” he claimed.

“Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is a political force to be reckoned with. We believe in and profoundly respect the parliamentary norms and will give no space to the double-dealers,” he added. Mr Ilyas maintained that since he was [regional] PTI president, his decisions would be obeyed by everyone [in the party] in AJK.

“And whatever decision the party chairman [Imran Khan] makes is binding on all of us,” he added.

Posting of ACS-D

The AJK premier took strong exception to an Establishment Division notification, placing the services of Muzaffar Khan, a BS-19 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS), at the disposal of the AJK government for further posting as Additional Chief Secretary-Development (ACS-D).

Mr Muzaffar would replace BS-20 PAS officer Dr Sajid Mahmood Chauhan, but only after the AJK government would endorse his posting through a notification by its Services and General Administration Department.

The ACS-D is one of the five officers - commonly referred to as ‘lent officers’ – transferred and posted by Islamabad in Muzaffarabad ‘under the Karachi Agreement of 1949.’

PM Ilyas said he had written a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif around two weeks ago, asking him to let the position of ACS-D rest with the AJK government, but to no avail.

“And now we receive a letter from Islamabad stating that a BS-19 officer of so-and-so service [group] is coming [to assume the office of ACS-D]. Where will the AJK officers in BS-22 go? Will they sit under him in the meetings?” he questioned.

He said the Kashmiris had a conviction that no evil eye could be cast on Pakistan as long as they were alive.

“But stopping our funds and creating one after the other issue for us is not fair and amounts to pushing us to the wall.”

He said he had proposed inter-provincial transfer of officers so that the civil servants from AJK could serve in provinces and vice versa on reciprocal basis.

The AJK premier said he had sought a meeting with PM Sharif.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2022

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