MUAFFARABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry on Tuesday was elected as the 28th president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) by securing 34 votes. His opponent and opposition’s joint candidate Mian Abdul Waheed got only 16 votes.
Total 50 members of the AJK Legislative Assembly took part in the election to elect the president. No vote was rejected. In the recently held elections on July 25, Barrister Sultan was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from LA-3, Mirpur-III, for the seventh time, out of total nine times he contested elections since 1985.
Apart from these nine general elections, two by-elections were also held in his constituency, both of which he won. The barrister, who was expecting to be nominated for the slot of prime minister for leading the PTI to a sweeping success in the elections, however, faced a blow on August 5 when Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi, who was nowhere on the list of the AJK PM candidates, was picked up by Prime Minister Imran Khan for the post.
Immediately after casting his vote in the assembly, he had left Muzaffarabad for his constituency apparently in a state of frustration. However, addressing a large gathering in Mirpur, Barrister Sultan had told his supporters, “I feel relieved that the party I had worked for day and night [in AJK] over the past seven years has finally landed in the corridors of power.”
The PTI leadership had told Barrister Sultan that after his elevation to the presidency his son would be inducted in the cabinet. Although, he was hesitant in the beginning because in that case he would have to quit both the assembly and the party’s top regional office, he, however, changed his mind after Prime Minister Imran Khan himself spoke to him in this regard.