Administrative Services name changed
Khan likely to be last PoK ‘PM’
JAMMU, Dec 13: In a serious development, Pakistan, which has been completely frustrated by the Indian Government’s move to scrap special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate it into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, has been mulling change in the status of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and speculations to this effect gained momentum when PoK ‘Government’ renamed ‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir Management Group’ as ‘Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Services’.
The order comes just couple of days after PoK `Prime Minister’ Farooq Haider Khan said in Muzaffarabad that he could be the last `Prime Minister’ of PoK dropping enough hints that Pakistan could alter the status of PoK, which was legally a part of India, which has time and again been reiterated by both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
An order dated 11th December issued by ‘Azad Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir’ Services and General Administration Department (Regulations) said the ‘President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir’ ordered renaming of ‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir Management Group’ as `Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Services’ (JKAS) with immediate effect.
“All references to ‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir Management Group’ in any rule, order or instruction shall be construed as reference to Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Services,” the order said.
The PoK Government order assumed significance as it was issued on 11th December i.e. just two days after PoK `Prime Minister’ Farooq Haider Khan made a highly controversial statement in Muzaffarabad stating that he could be the last `Prime Minister’ of PoK.
Khan’s statement had drawn flak from several PoK leaders, who had opposed the sinister plan of Pakistan to fiddle with the status of PoK, which was an autonomous territory held illegally by Pakistan as it was part and parcel of India.
Presently Pakistan has four provinces-Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh, two autonomous territories (PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan) and one federal territory (Islamabad Capital Territory).
Sources said Pakistan leadership might try to merge PoK with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which shared border with PoK as well as Gilgit-Baltistan or make it a fifth province along with Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (which was till 2010 known as North Western Frontier Province).
According to sources, the Indian Government was watching developments in PoK especially in the wake of change in the name of Administrative Services and the PoK `Prime Minister’s’ statement. Only PoK has separate `Prime Minister’ and `President’ while provinces in Pakistan have the Chief Ministers and Governors.
Indian Parliament had unanimously passed a resolution in 1994 during the regime of PV Narsimha Rao stating that PoK is an integral part of India.
In Jammu and Kashmir Re-organization Act approved by the Parliament, the Central Government has kept 24 seats reserved for Pakistan occupied Kashmir in the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. The same numbers of seats were reserved in the previous J&K State Assembly as well for PoK.
The Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have 114 seats. Election will be held on 90 seats and 24 will be reserved for Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
The Central Government had on August 5 scrapped special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. Frustrated by the Government decision, Pakistan has been resorting to heavy mortar shelling and firing on the Line of Control in J&K since then. It also tried to internationalize the issued but badly failed in the attempts.