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Wednesday Aug 04 2021
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How Abdul Qayyum Niazi got the PM's nod for AJK's top slot

Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi while taking oath of office as the next prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. — Twitter/PTI Azad Kashmir
Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi while taking oath of office as the next prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. — Twitter/PTI Azad Kashmir

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday, after detailed deliberations, named Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi as the next prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

For the purpose of nominating the next AJK premier, PM Imran Khan interviewed Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, Sardar Tanveer Ilyas and Khwaja Farooq, among others.

But Geo News has learnt that it was not the matter of a simple interview that was to be the deciding factor in the nomination of the chosen candidate.

Sources told Geo News that the prime minister was "advised" that the numbers 13 and 18 will prove "beneficial" and "fortuitous" for PTI.

Along with this, he was told that if a name starting with the Urdu letter “ع” is chosen, then not only will the AJK government complete its tenure, PTI's position in Kashmir will be cemented.

The sources said that after learning of this, PM Imran Khan had Ansar Abdali flown in from LA-13 and Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi transported from LA-18, via a helicopter reserved for the prime minister's use. They were brought to Islamabad from Muzaffarabad.

The sources further said that the prime minister had a discussion about the Kashmir policy and matters pertaining to the governance of Kashmir, among other issues.

After a detailed discussion with party members, he named Niazi as the next prime minister.

About Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi

Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi is the 13th prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. He was born in a town located on the Line of Control, named Darra Sher Khan, in tehsil Abbaspur of district Poonch. He graduated from the Azad Kashmir University.

He began his political career in 1982, when he became the district councillor of Poonch. His family had a long-standing association with the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC) party. 

Niazi first became a member of the AJK Legislative Assembly in 2006 when he was elected on an AJKMC ticket.

From 2006-2011 he held the portfolios of minister for finance, prisons, and others.

He ran for elections in the 2011 and 2016 polls. In this year's polls, he obtained 24,500 votes and won the confidence of several clans.

Niazi is famous for always holding his constituents dear, considering their problems to be his own, whether it is a death in the family or an illness. He is always the first to arrive to visit the affected family.

His elder brother, Sardar Ghulam Mustafa, was elected to the legislative assembly twice and served as a minister both times.

A younger brother, Sardar Habib Zia, is considered a skilful lawyer of the Supreme Court of AJK.

Niazi also has a third brother, who resides in the US, and a son, who is a councillor in the UK.