“Former Prime Minister Disqualified by High Court in Azad Jammu and Kashmir: Impact on Region’s Political Landscape”

Former Prime Minister Disqualified by High Court in Azad Jammu and Kashmir Impact on Regions Political Landscape
Former Prime Minister Disqualified by High Court in Azad Jammu and Kashmir Impact on Regions Political Landscape
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On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) dismissed a petition filed by former prime minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, challenging his disqualification by the region’s high court. This was a significant setback for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), as the high court had removed Ilyas from his position as prime minister, making him the first premier to be disqualified in a contempt of court case in the region.

Ilyas had moved the Supreme Court of AJK against the high court’s decision via a plea that mentioned him as the “AJK prime minister”. The top court’s registrar office returned the plea with objections, after which Ilyas’s lawyers were censured by the AJK Chief Justice Raja Saeed Akram for mentioning Ilyas as the “current prime minister”. The court directed the lawyers to file a new plea, and Ilyas was considered a former prime minister until the top court took further action.

Before the hearing, Ilyas’s lawyer, Sardar Raziq Khan, spoke to the media, stating that there was a proper procedure to disqualify a premier in the Constitution, and that the Election Commission cannot disqualify a prime minister without following that procedure. He also claimed that the maximum penalty for contempt of court is six months and that Ilyas was still the prime minister of AJK, terming the notification disqualifying Ilyas as “unconstitutional”.

On Tuesday, the AJK High Court disqualified Ilyas from being elected or being a member of the Legislative Assembly or from holding any public office for two years after holding him guilty of contempt. This came after Ilyas was summoned to AJK’s Supreme Court and High Court for using a “threatening tone” in one of his speeches. During the hearing, clips featuring Ilyas were played, and he gave an unconditional apology to the court. However, the high court rejected his apology and held him guilty of contempt.

Subsequently, Ilyas’ legal team filed an appeal in the AJK apex court against his conviction. However, the SC Chief Justice Raja Saeed Akram rejected the appeal, stating that it was “incompetently worded”. The judge allowed Ilyas’ lawyers to file a fresh appeal in court.

Meanwhile, in a late-night development, the office of AJK’s chief secretary issued a notification appointing Khawaja Farooq Ahmed as the interim prime minister of the region. The notification stated that “the most senior minister” would perform the functions of the Office of the Prime Minister until a new prime minister had been appointed and elected upon his office.

In conclusion, the disqualification of former AJK Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas has created a significant impact on the political landscape of the region. The legal battle between Ilyas and the high court of AJK has come to an end with the dismissal of his petition. Now, the appointment of Khawaja Farooq Ahmed as interim prime minister will likely shape the future political direction of the region until a new prime minister is appointed

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