The political mercury is at its climax in AJK. It is a political tragedy not to hold general elections at a time in Pakistan, GB and AJK. It seems a politically plotted formula to manipulate public opinion as well as the monopoly of the federal government over GB and AJK Polls. If we take a glance at GB and AJK poll results in the past, the party sitting in Islamabad has been manufacturing the governments in GB and AJK. AJk politics revolves around brotherhood for me and the federal government. That is why the PTI was compelled by AJK political culture to entitle Barrister Sultan M. Ch as PTI AJK head. The rest of AJk political parties also have an irremediable stamp of brotherhood for me. AJK assembly has 45 seats of which 33 are in AJK territory with 2.28 million registered voters of which 1.29 are female voters. The rest of 12 seats are reserved for Kashmiris settled in Pakistan which have 430,456 registered voters of which 170,931 are female voters. The 12 reserved seats are of paramount vitality in formulation of government in AJK. The traditional and typical politicians disguise and camouflage themselves in new political costumes to lure the public. Most of them have often been part of the cabinet. Their overnight clownish jumping these opportunists predict the formulation of the next government. The AJk politicians and the public both are exceedingly ideological, they deduce and make the best use of the theory of necessity and align themselves with the expected upcoming ruling party.
Primarily, the contest and competition is in political stalwarts of PMLN, PPP and PTI. The AJK polls can never be dissimilar to GB polls because the same federal tactics are being applied over here. In office ministers are not only campaigning but they are also violating the election code of conduct. It is nothing more than Nora Wrestling. The PPP and PMLN’s politics revolve around the PTI fiasco in Pakistan and its malicious designs of altering AJK in the province. The only and prominent state based party Muslim Conference (MC) is politically copped knee deep to safeguard either for state or politics. Will the bald take a bath and squeeze the head? The ex- Pm AJK Sardar Attique shambled to PM Khan for a coalition which was conditional with the post-poll scenario. The MC is praying to god and rowing to shore. The lamping MC horse is crutched on PTI bate. The current ruling PMLN won the chair through the federal government, The AJK PM’s allegations are insane and illogical to tarnish PTI of federal support. Horse-trading harping is also irrational as PMLN was manufactured by stabbing MC and PPP. The PMLN has lost its political grounds due to absence in the federal government. It is even not prophesied round about the next power-office. Secondly, the PM Raja’s consistent propagation against the federal government regarding AJK state identity issue has put the party at stake. Thirdly, the PMLN has cut a sorry figure in formulating PDM type KDM in AJk. If it had been done and run, the political circumstances might have been quite different and it would have been handy to rout PTI. Fourthly, the PMLN Pakistan and the PPP are internally on the same page to keep the democracy on track while it is vice versa in AJK.
Jamaat Islami was in alliance with PMLN in the 2016 elections by wangling political gains, but now the boat has capsized. Jamaat e Islami-PMLN coalition was a political and ideological blunder. Jamat e Islami has neither know how of actual politics Pakistan nor in AJK. There are rumors of an alliance between PMLN and PTI but it seems nothing more than a political tactic. It seems that the PTI will be in position to form the government without any alliance, if it is unavoidable; The pseudo state party, MC is on Khan’s threshold to fulfill the requirement and the rest of the space will be filled by some Free candidates. MC has no Kaba to bend; it can do wonders for power. The ruling PMLN has only once possibility of regaining the office by internal seat adjustment or bargaining with the PPP, the rebel candidates of PTI. It is only possible in the sense that the PMLN and PPP get nearly required seats for forming a government. However, MC is for sale for any winning party. It is also not out of the question that PTI and PPP backdoor alliance in Pakistan may push them for the same in AJK. Its logic is that PTI is not hard on PPP in AJK while it has shattered the political structure of PMLN badly. PMLN’s ticket changing policy in some constancies signals some sort of give and take between PMLN and PTI as LA26 ticket was taken back from Speaker Assembly AJk and crowned upon a non-familiar candidate.
The personal interests of PDM put the GB polls in PTI’s lap while the PMLN was in power in GB. Although, PTI is not harping on the same mantra as it did in GB regarding administrative provinces, the rest of the tactics are being fully employed. GB is also a part of AJK state, the PPP and PMLN had been campaigning for making GB as administrative province, but now they are propagating against it in AJK. It is all eye wash and hypocrisy. Publically, it is argued that the party in power in Islamabad must be given preference for smooth flow of funds. The winning candidate from the federal opposing party will be considered a loser as he might not have any power to cater the public issues. PTI AJK, is also divided into Sardar and Barrister groups, both are wrestling in the political ring to favor their candidates. Many tickets have been changed and some are crowned upon the most corrupt heads. Uneasy lies the head which wears the crown. Some PTI candidates are also contesting against party nominees as they consider it their privilege to be given tickets and some of them truly deserve it. Publically, PTI has been ranked no one for the upcoming government, PPP on second and PMLN on third. But nothing can be true before winning a war, game and polls. It is also the result of Oxford graduate Khan that a Matric old man has been inflicted on highly educated youths of Neelum Valley. It is the irony of politics that here the people are measured by the yardstick of rank, money, reference and back not on merit. Although contesting elections without party tickets is no more than fashion in AJk. However, if someone wins, he will surely join the office benches.
(The Writer is Prof. in English and Freelance Columnist, based in Lahore, Pakistan )