RAWALPINDI: Azad Kashmir will in future have parliamentary form of government in place of its present presidential system. This decision was taken here today [June 10] at a conference of Kashmiri leaders presided over by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Besides a 42-member legislative assembly, elected by Azad Kashmir people and refugees living in Pakistan, a 13-member Council for Azad Kashmir has also been proposed. The Council will be headed by … Prime Minister of Pakistan. … The Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir will be elected by a simple majority by the Azad Kashmir Assembly, while the President will be elected by two-thirds majority by the same Assembly. The arrangement does not in the slightest degree prejudice the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir upon which the provision of Article 257 of the Constitution of Pakistan is based.

The arrangement ensures the participation of the representatives of Azad Kashmir and Kashmiri refugees in the direction of affairs affecting their life and aspiration. The decisions of the Council will be issued in the name of the President of Azad Kashmir, and they will be implemented through a Secretariat.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2024

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