AJK premier disqualified for contempt by high court | The Express Tribune


The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) High Court disqualified Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas on Tuesday from his position as a member of the legislative assembly and as premier on contempt charges.

A day earlier, the superior courts of AJK served notices to Ilyas seeking an explanation about his position on derogatory remarks about the judiciary in speeches at public gatherings. The prime minister was asked to appear before the AJK High Court and Supreme Court today.

Ilyas had accused the judiciary of affecting the workings of his government and intervening in the domain of the executive through stay orders.

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The AJK premier had claimed that a multi-million Saudi-funded education project was incomplete due to a court order. He also spoke against the court orders to reopen tobacco factories that were involved in tax evasion worth billions.

Today, the full bench of the high court pronounced the verdict, convicted him for statements against the court and sentenced him.

It maintained that the court took notice of Ilyas’ anti-judiciary statements and does not accept his apology.

With Ilyas’s disqualification, the entire AJK cabinet now stands dissolved.

The move comes amid heightened political tensions across Pakistan due to the crisis relating to elections in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after assemblies in both provinces were dissolved.

Ilyas, affiliated with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), served as premier of AJK for less than a year. He was elected unopposed as the 14th prime minister of the region on April 18, 2022.

After the resignation of Abdul Qayyum Khan Niazi as AJK premier, Illyas had submitted nomination papers on behalf of PTI which were declared valid by the secretary assembly.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan nominated Ilyas as the party’s candidate for prime minister’s office while the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) had jointly fielded Chaudhry Yasin.

The united opposition boycotted the session for the election of the prime minister, leaving no candidate in the race against Ilyas wherein he secured 33 votes in his favour.

The first prime minister of AJK, Khan Abdul Hameed Khan, was elected on July 5, 1975. AJK has had a parliamentary system since 1985. Sardar Sikandar Hayat, Sardar Atiq Ahmad Khan and Raja Farooq Haider Khan had twice held the office of AJK PM.

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