By: Quayyum Raja
Chaudhry Muhammad Yaseen is currently the president of AJK chapter of Pakistan People’s Party. He was the Leader of opposion in previous Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly, where he performed remarkably well. He has won 7 general election so far from the same constituency, which is the largest in AJK.
However, in recent general election, he set a record by winning two seats. One from his home town Chrohi and another from Kotli city. The latter was contested against former minister who is the son of former premier and president of AJK Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan. A sad incident took place in Ch Yaseen’s home constituency, where two members of Tehreek-e-Insaf had been shot dead. Ch Yaseen was reportedly not on the scene of incident, but he and his two sons were accused by the TI. All three of them denied the charges. According to the rule, Ch Yaseen had to leave one of his two seats. His son Amir Yaseen contested the by-election and won the seat by increasing the vote by two thousands. This is termed as a public verdict in support of innocence of the father and sons. Ch Yaseen was on bail during the by- election but he surprised everybody by announcing in a press conference that he would go to the Police to take him into custody. This was a clear confidence both in his innocence and the judiciary. The public in general has regarded his decision both as bold and wise.
The two innocent people have certainly died but we hope the outcome of the trial will not be politically motivated.
I first saw Ch Yaseen when he went to visit me in mid 1990s in British jail where I was also held extra-juducially in a case relating to the Independence Movement of Jammu Kashmir. I have visited Ch Yaseen last week in Kotli jail and found him calm and in high spirit. I saw a large number of people standing outside the jail showing solidarity with Ch Yaseen who advised them to go back home and take it easy.