Daunting task before Farooq Haider

THE central leadership of PML(N) deserves credit for picking an experienced, serene and sober personality – Raja Farooq Haider – for the coveted slot of Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir. The party secured a landslide victory in the recently held elections and on that basis it could have picked anyone but the choice of Raja Farooq Haider is a clear indication that the party wants to make a difference in the liberated territory.
Raja Farooq Haider has a daunting task before him as his predecessor has left the AJK in shambles. It is generally said that people of Azad Kashmir saw nothing during the last five years except corruption, loot and plunder. The poor performance of the PPP Government sent dismaying signals across the Line of Control as Azad Kashmir is rightly believed to be base-camp of liberation struggle and has to be a model in every respect. Therefore, Farooq Haider will have not only have to clear the mess created by the PPP but also move swiftly to bring about a real transformation in AJK. Luckily, the PML(N) had a roadmap for the purpose in the shape of election manifesto that pledges empowerment of AJK Government and initiation of a number of developmental projects. A beginning will have to be made by the PML(N) Government in Islamabad by delegating powers as committed during elections and provision of necessary funds for launching of different projects. PML(N) has a history of implementing projects on fast track basis and replication of the same strategy in Azad Kashmir would surely accelerate the pace of socio-economic development in different areas and create jobs for the local population besides attracting more tourists to the region. We would also ask Raja Farooq Haider to take all political parties on board as the cause of Kashmir can only be served through unity.

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