Sacking of PoK Prime Minister will add to ongoing crisis

sacking of pok prime minister will add to ongoing crisis – The News Mill

ANI Photo | Sacking of PoK Prime Minister will add to ongoing crisis

On April 11, 2023, the prime minister of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) Tanveer Ilyas was served with a sentence for contempt of court and removed from his office and his parliamentary seat in the legislative assembly.
A senior minister Khawaja Farooq is expected to be sworn in as the caretaker prime minister until such time that the PoK legislative assembly selects a new prime minister.
The court has applied Article 45, of the interim constitution of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir known as Act 74, to sack Tanveer Ilyas from his office. According to Act 74 “Contempt of Court Article 45, ‘Court means the Supreme Court of PoK or the High Court.
A court shall have the power to punish any person who – a) abuses, interferes with or obstructs the process of the court in any way or disobeys any order of the court; b) scandalizes the court or otherwise does anything which tends to bring the court or a judge of the court into hatred, ridicule or contempt; c) does anything which tends to prejudice the determination of a matter pending before the court’ or d) does any other thing which by law constitutes contempt of court.
Article 45 also states ‘the exercise of the power conferred on a court by this article may be regulated by law and, subject to law, by rules made by the court’.
While attending the hearing Ilyas was presented with evidence in the form of his press statements and video recordings of his speeches in which he had ridiculed and blamed the courts for creating hurdles against a USD 15 million Saudi Education project from being initiated in PoK. The former prime minister pleaded guilty.
The fact that the courts were honouring a stay order against the Saudi education project after a complaint was filed against it is testimony to the tragedy we as an occupied nation have been victim to for the past 75 years. At a time when Pakistan is faced with its own economic crisis, it has frozen the development funds of PoK.
Under these circumstances, Tanveer Ilyas managed to secure USD 15 million worth of educational project from Saudi Arabia as a direct investment in the occupied territory.
For the anti-Imran Khan Pakistani coalition government led by the Pakistan Muslim League (N) and headed by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the military establishment is tantamount to a crime of disproportionate magnitude.
Hence, a decision by the prime minister of the PoK government led by Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party’s PoK section headed by Tanveer Ilyas became totally unacceptable. This is the first time in the history of our occupation by Pakistan since October 22, 1947, that a sitting prime minister of PoK has been accused of a crime, tried and sentenced by a high court.
I have no doubt that there will be serious repercussions caused by this decision despite the fact that Tanveer Ilyas is no friend of the common man or woman of the occupied state. The judgement made by the High Court of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir will be viewed as a witch hunt and as an attack on a prime minister of a people who are considered a lesser being.
Meanwhile, according to Article 17 of Act 74 interim constitution of PoK, the president of PoK will nominate the most senior minister to take charge as an acting prime minister.
At a time when the people of PoK are suffering from shortages of flour, load shedding, price hike, water shortages and pensioners await their dues to be paid for months while the serving government employees haven’t been paid salaries for 9 months, the sudden disqualification of PoK prime minister Tanveer Ilyas would add to the ongoing political and economic uncertainty in the PoK.
Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoK. He currently lives in the UK in exile. (ANI)

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