Altaf Hamid Rao;
MIRPUR, (Parliament Times): Former Chief Justice of Azad Jammu Kashmir Justice [Retd] Muhammad Azam Khan has strongly endorsed the long-standing demand of the masses for holding of the civic polls in Azad Jammu Kashmir to ensure their empowerment at the grass root level through the elected local bodies institution. He was speaking as the guest of honor at the concluding session of a detailed debate-cum-conference of the local intelligentsia here late Sunday. The grand event, attended by distinguished personalities from different fields, shared their respective input in detailed discussion on a recently published integrated report titled “Local Government System in AJK, Background, Evaluation, and Way Forward”, authored by renowned Young Kashmiri Scholar Dr. Waqas Ali.
The participants highly lauded the author’s initiative haring their input, in detail on the significance of this issue for ensuring the vibrant role of the civic institutions through holding of the elections according to the stipulated period for the socio-economic progress and prosperity besides to ameliorate the life style of the common man in AJK through the local bodies and other nation-building intitutions in the State. “In fact this is one of the very first report published on the subject in AJK”, observed the speakers including former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of AJK Justice (Retd) Muhammad Azam, renowned, journalist, columnist and Analyst Ershad Mahmud, PML [N] AJK top leader Ch. Sohaib Saeed, KIIR Chairman Altaf Hussain Wani, Station Director AK Radio Mirpur Muhammad Shakeel, Sr. Kashmiri Journalist Altaf Hamid Rao, JKPP Leader Syed Nishat Kazmi, PPP (Shaheed Bhutto ) AJK President Ch. Munger Hussain, President Markazi Anjuman e Tajran Raja Khalid Mahmood and two of the MUST Varsity Students Representatives appreciated the report on local Government SYSTEM in AJK and the due vibrant role of the elected civic bodies.
Justice (Retd) Azam Khan while appreciating the author, suggested that AJK being a secluded society having infant democracy needs sustained capacity building and consultancy to strengthen the future elected local bodies. “In this regard, it is quite obviously and necessary to have well equipped and trained civil society that remains in touch with the concerned state-run institutions and political parties who are to be the constituents of this process. Justice [Retd] Azam Khan also highlighted various aspects and significance of the elected local bodies in AJK through their due vibrant role in true perspective.
Sharing his input, eminent Kashmiri writer and journalist Ershad Mahmud highlighted the significance of holding of the civic polls in the State. “Only functional local government system provides a guarantee of a true democratic society”, he observed. Earlier, while participating in the concernve Station Director Azad Kashmir Radio FM 101.04 Mirpur Muhammad Shakeel while lauding the report, said it might prove to be a strong source of guidance and encouragement for the stake holders especially the State government to ensure the working conditions of the civic institutions in true perspective through the much imperive local bodies elections in AJK. Appreciating Dr. Waqas’s initiative to ink the comprehensive report on the due vibrant role of the CIVIC bodies through the much demanded LB elections in. AJK, Senior Kashmiri Journalist Altaf Hamid Rao aid that holding of local civic polls could make the local bodied institutions more effective and vibrant to address the issues of the progress and prosperity at the local level.