Islamabad replaces AJK chief secretary
By Tariq Naqash in The Dawn, April 7
MUZAFFARABAD, April 6: The federal government replaced the chief secretary of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, in a move likely to further strain relations between Islamabad and Muzaffarabad.
The transfer of Khalid Sultan came amid a row between the Kashmir affairs ministry of Pakistan and the AJK government over the assignment of additional charge of his office during his absence from the country.
Officials said that Major (retd) Zulqarnain Khan, a BPS-21 officer, had been named by the federal government as the new AJK chief secretary.
Mr Sultan left for South Korea on April 3 and is scheduled to return home on Wednesday. After his departure, the AJK government gave the additional charge of his office to Raja Farooq Niaz, a senior member of the Board of Revenue.
However, late on Sunday night, the Kashmir affairs ministry issued an order from Islamabad giving the charge to Tariq Mahmood Khan, serving here as additional chief secretary of development (ACS-D).
On Monday when the ACS-D sought to take charge of his office he cut a sorry figure after Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider turned down the federal ministry’s order.
Official sources claimed that Mr Sultan was reprimanded over his allegiance to the Kashmir affairs ministry, particularly in the wake of the ongoing judicial crisis.
However, some sources claimed that Mr Sultan had been transferred for “not properly handling the constitutional issues pertaining to the superior judiciary”.
On Tuesday, the Kashmiri Affairs Ministry kept on probing if Mr Sultan had proposed the name of Mr Niaz to run the affairs of his office in his absence. However, although the ministry was provided with documentary evidence that Mr Sultan had recommended two lent officers, ACS-D and secretary of finance, he was made a scapegoat.
Sources told Dawn that in order to prepare grounds for unceremonious exit of Mr Sultan, an intelligence agency had also been tasked to dig out his “weak points.” http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/islamabad-replaces-ajk-chief-secretary-740