Press Trust of india

PoK ‘premier’ Niazi resigns after revolt in Imran Khan’s ruling party

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Islamabad, Apr 15 (PTI) In another setback to Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi, has resigned following a revolt in the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party against him.

Niazi, hand-picked by his party chief Khan, resigned on Thursday after 25 lawmakers of his party moved a resolution of no-confidence motion against him to replace him with party’s regional president Sardar Tanveer Ilyas.

Niazi’s ouster comes days after Khan lost a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly to become the first Pakistan prime minister to be removed unceremoniously from power.

Under Article 16 (1) of the Constitution, “I, the undersigned, resign from my office of the prime minister”, reads the handwritten resignation dated April 14, which was addressed to the PoK president Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry.

Dr Asif Hussain Shah, secretary of presidential affairs, confirmed that Chaudhry has received and accepted Niazi’s resignation and forwarded the same to the chief secretary for issuance of a formal notification, ‘Dawn’ newspaper reported.

Niazi came to power last year after PTI secured 32 seats in the 53-member House.

India had rejected the elections in PoK, saying the “cosmetic exercise” was nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to “camouflage its illegal occupation”.

Reacting strongly on the elections in the PoK, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said that Pakistan has “no locus standi on these Indian territories” and it must vacate all Indian areas under its illegal occupation.

“The so-called elections in Indian territory under the illegal occupation of Pakistan are nothing but an attempt by Pakistan to camouflage its illegal occupation and the material changes undertaken by it in these territories,” he had said.

“Such an exercise can neither hide the illegal occupation by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation, and denial of freedom to people in these occupied territories,” Bagchi said

The ruling party lawmakers had charged Niazi with “loss of the trust of the parliamentary party, failure to highlight Kashmir issue and implement party manifesto in addition to bad governance, nepotism and violation of merit”, the ‘Dawn’ report said.

Speaking at a presser in Islamabad on Thursday, Niazi said “baseless allegations” have been levelled against him in the no-trust resolution.

“I first sent my resignation to the party chairman Imran Khan and then to the president after a lapse of one hour,” he said, adding that he would continue to work as an ordinary worker of the party.

Niazi was part of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference before leaving it to join the PTI three years ago. He was also elected from the platform of the Muslim Conference in 2006 and has also served as the Minister of Food.

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