Federal Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Sunday approved the deployment of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) at the request of Prime Minister Chaudhry Anwarul Haq, in a decision that raised eyebrows in the region given the recent incidents that had led to three deaths in state capital Muzaffarabad allegedly at the hands of a paramilitary force.

The deployment comes on the heels of a warning by the Joint Awami Action Committee (JAAC) that the activists of the rights movement would stage “peaceful sit-ins” at AJK’s entry and exit points with Pakistan if the authorities did not honour the pledges made to the alliance leadership and released the detained activists by June 25.

According to a press release issued by the AJK government, the meeting between Haq and Naqvi, held in the latter’s office in the federal capital, focused on the law and order situation and overall security in the liberated territory.

Both leaders also discussed the political climate and AJK’s upcoming budget for the new financial year, the press release added.

“In response to a request by the prime minister, the federal minister approved the deployment of the Frontier Constabulary in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, assuring Haq that all possible cooperation would be extended to maintain peace and improve security in the region,” it said.

While renewing the government of Pakistan’s support for the progress and development of the AJK territory, the federal minister reiterated their commitment to fulfilling promises made to the AJK people in this regard.

On his part, Prime Minister Haq expressed his gratitude to the Federal Minister for taking immediate steps to address the issues facing AJK.

However, the news of the deployment of the paramilitary force — which the AJK government has been asserting would be restricted to some important hydropower projects in the territory — was met with scepticism by many.

As the news was aired by TV channels, former AJK premier and regional president of the PTI, Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi, submitted a calling attention notice in the Legislative Assembly secretariat for a debate on the issue on Monday when the house would resume its sitting.

“Speaker, currently there is no law and order situation in Azad Jammu and Kashmir that warrants the deployment of the FC in the territory,” he said in the notice, addressed to Speaker Chaudhry Latif Akbar.

Niazi recalled that the situation in AJK had become tense previously due to the deployment of the FC and Rangers, among other factors, and a failed attempt was made to create a rift between the people of AJK and the people of Pakistan.

“Now, once again, with the deployment of the FC, the situation in Azad Jammu and Kashmir will further worsen,” he warned.

While questioning what concerns were prompting the AJK premier to recurrently invite the FC to the state, Niazi said that it was essential that the House held a debate on the important issue.

Hafeez Hamdani, a spokesperson for JAAC, told Dawn.com from Mirpur, where the core committee meeting of the alliance was in progress, that they had given the government the deadline of June 25 for the fulfilment of all of the demands.

These demands included the establishment of a judicial commission, consisting of the judge(s) of the AJK High Court, to investigate all violent incidents, withdrawal of all cases against the activists and unconditional release of the detained persons.

“If the government fails to meet the deadline, people will peacefully march towards their concerned entry point on the given dates and stage a sit-in there,” he said, warning that any attempt to stop the peaceful march would result in an indefinite lockdown across the state.

Hamdani said the JAAC core committee had decided on June 27, 28 and 29 for sit-ins at the entry points in Poonch, Mirpur and Muzaffarabad divisions, respectively.

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