Kashmir Watch report

Islamabad, May 26:  Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir Sardar Yaqub Khan is leading state to confusion, chaos and anarchy.

His rule is no different from his predecessor Sardar Attiq Ahmed Khan

Sardar Yaqub’s administration assumed office in January 2009, after ouster of Attiq Ahmed Khan through a no-confidence move.

Soon after he took power, Mr Khan promised he would administer justice, provide good governance, uphold merit, and rid the state from nepotism, favourritim, menace of deep-rooted corruption and Bardarism.

When the time came for the redemption of his promises, Mr. Khan evidently forgot all about them.

Corruption practices, nepotism, favoritism, blackmailing, mismanagement, injustices, misuse of authority, violation of merit, discrimination govern Azad Kashmir.

Many say that new administration walks in footsteps of his predecessors and it recognizes only one law —-might is right.

The state law, tenets of justice or merit does not dictate his or his administration’s decisions rather they are politically motivated or influenced by baradariism.

The recent reshuffling in bureaucracy is a case in point.

The AJK government transferred some of the senior officers, mostly secretaries.

Some of these transfers and postings have raised eyebrows.

Many people believe that some of the controversial officers have been posted to politically important positions.

They say that these transfers and postings are dictated by political compulsions instead of merit.

For instance, additional chief secretary general Raja Arif Khan, a controversial officer, has been transferred as principle secretary to the prime minister.

Khan replaced Chaiudhry Munir Hussain who has been posted as commissioner Mangla Dam affairs in Mirpur.

The incumbent commissioner was relieved of his responsibilities at the termination of his contract.

Mr Arif-a BPS-21 officer- is spouse of Noreen Arif-a minister for social welfare/Population welfare.

Noreen Arif is cynically referred as family welfare minister for the reason that her sole objective is to pursues, protect and safeguard her family’s interests.

She does so without any fear of law of the state.

Raja Arif Khan, who was additional chief secretary general-in BPS-21, apparently opted for the post of principle secretary to achieve his own objectives.

Mr. Khan was reported to be getting posted against BPS-20-position while retaining his present post ACSG-a BPS-21 officer.

The post, which he opted for, is politically more important as he is now the principle secretary to the Prime minister.

All the files from the government departments are routed through the political secretary to the PM for approval.

Many believe that Mr. Khan this lower grade post to have his political clout and to use it for his own interests.

They believe that this controversial appointment can be politically harmful for the PM himself.

Mr Khan, who might be the only student from a remote village having passed his secondary exams at the age of 13, according to his service record.

Raja Arif is also accused of jeopardizing  the 22 million euro Germans government funded health project out of personal vendetta against his former colleague.  
He has a long history of unmatched favouritism.

Many officials say that the so-called Abass institute became biggest victim of his lust for illegitimate income and favourtism.

Arif was also accused of ruining IT board.

It could not take off as long as he stayed there as a director general.

It does not end here.

The induction of Raja Arif’s son-Zeeshan Arif- in services of Azad Kashmir in 2002 and then his promotion to BPS-19- officer-in a very short span of time is an interesting story-perhaps unique one in the history of Azad Kashmir.

His mother �Noreen Arif-is holding the portfolio of the department- a Pakistan government funded project.

Zeeshan Arif is currently acting director in population welfare department.

His cousin-who was appointed as junior clerk in the year 1995-is now -a BPS-18 officer- in Population welfare department.

Erra’s project for disabled people MRDEA is their next target.

People are also criticizing appointment of Sardar Sadiq Khan, a retired officer, as an advisor to the prime minister.

It is also seen as a serious error on the part of the new administration.

Mr. Khan is knee deep involved in the prefabricated housing scam.

“Infact he was the partner of the one of the partners of so-called Turkish construction company, which was given 75 million rupees without any bank guarantee”, said an officer.

He is also being accused of misusing his authority by pressurizing different departments to fund for controversial local NGO Children First.

He is currently on the board of directors of Children First. 

He had always been in the centre of controversies while in service in AJK government.

It were likes Sadder Sadiq Khan and Raja Arif Khan who sunk the politics of shrewd Prime minister like Mumtaz Hussain Rathore and Attiq Ahmed Khan.

There is no denying of the fact that naive Sardar Yaqoob Khan would not be doomed by them.

The prime minister is also accused of ignoring a very competent and senior officer of public works department Mushtaq Awan in recent reshuffling.

But fact remains that Mr Awan who is currently heading a UN funded project was assured time and again by new prime minister that he would be elevated to the post of secretary.

There is a very long list of his juniors who have been appointed as secretaries over past several years.

But successive governments couldn’t explain as why Mr Awan is being penalised.

Fact Sheet

It clearly shows that Mr Awan is being denied justice, although, he did not deserve it.

Political observers say that it would further dent the credibility of the prime minister Sardar Yaqoob Khan.

They say he is already sending signals that he is weak and unable to deliver.

They say it can be gauged from the fact that prime minister announced to re-instate former AC Muzaffarabad with immediate affect on the floor of assembly a few months ago.

But the officer is still waiting for posting and his file is rusting in Prime minister’s office for approval.

Political observers say Yaqub’s administration is fast loosing its credibility.

They question if it has any moral standing now to criticise its predecessors.

They also say that ruling elite is deliberately plunging people into desperation, hoplessness and desperation.

They say that maintaining public justice is most important since justice means peace and the survival of the state, nation or a country.

They say that ruling elite should not give impression that they are treating state as their estate.

They say that rulers have to decide whether they want peace in the state or anarchy and chaos.


Posted on 26 May 2009 by Webmaster

Khurshid Zaman Abbasi
Maryland USA

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