The long awaited constitutional reforms in Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) have triggered a hot debate amongst stakeholders, whether. The question? Will the 13th amendment will of Act 1974, the Constitution of AJK, empower the people of the region, or keep power firmly in the hands of the centre. Whereas, the The PML-N led AJK government has called the reforms the “greatest achievement” of under Prime Minister Farooq Haider, their. However, the party’s opponents called them nothing but “a call the reforms another “wolf in sheep’s disguiseclothing”. They are afraid that the current developments being currently made by the government will turn lead to Kashmir into becoming another province, with complete control of its affairs in the hands of the government of Pakistan at the centre. For many years now, the Government government in Muzaffarabad has been seeking constitutional reforms, aimed at robbing the Kashmir Council of its power over the region’s resources, and instead handing control over to a democratically elected government in AJK. It is feared that Kashmir might end up becoming another province, with complete control of its affairs in the hands of the centre. Led The Kashmir Council is led by the Prime Minister prime minister of Pakistan, the Kashmir Council had and has administrative and legislative control over 52 sectors, including tax collection, natural resources, and tourism, while its. The KC leader, and most of its members were are nominated by the centre, and were not answerable to the people of Kashmir themselves. These people had no proper checks on their power or any form of accountability for their actions, and this remains the main a bone of contention between Muzaffarabad and Islamabad. The recent amendments have managed to rectify the situation, by changing the status of the Kashmir Council to an advisory body. Even though it still retains some its previous powers, like – such as the appointment of judges in AJK, – most of its authority has been transferred to the centre. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP,), the main opposition party in the AJK Legislative Assembly, appreciated the reforms, even though, PPP AJK President, Choudhry Latif Akbar, did raise some concerns over transferring the transfer of legislative powers to the executive. He stated that “across “Across the world, legislation is the domain of the parliament and not the government. But here it has been given to the federal government in what amounts to a great anomaly”, adding that “in,” he said, and added, “In fact, it has undermined the authority of the AJK government”..” The hasty method in which most of the reforms were introduced also drew criticism from some sections of the Kashmiri people Kashmiris. A PPP-led parliamentary committee had previously made a draft proposal for the amendment of the constitution, after consulting with all mainstream political stakeholders in the region. But this proposal had been turned down by However, the Pakistan Muslim League – Noon (PML-N) government, had turned down this proposal. They instead asked the Federal Law Ministry to prepare a draft proposal themselves, which was made without the consultation of any of the parties involved and the resulting proposal was then promptly approved by the outgoing federal cabinet. Kashmiri people also feel that once the Kashmir dispute is resolved, the demands of its residents will be ignored by the government of Pakistan, which will instead focus on its own designs for the region. Even though the Federal Government federal government made an effort to appease the dissenting voices in the region, and provided the locals with greater autonomy, they did not do enough to quell any Kashmiri doubts over the status of their land. As the centre accumulates greater powers over AJK, the fear that Kashmir might just end up being becoming another province of Pakistan also grows. The people also feel that once the Kashmir dispute is resolved, the demands of its residents will be ignored by the government of Pakistan in order to fulfil, which will instead focus on their own designs for the region. The true impact of the 13th amendment will unfold with time. However, in the days and months to come, the debate is expected to get even more heated. As the struggle for control between the centre, and the people of Kashmir intensifies, the need for open dialogue and understanding between the two will also rise. It is the way we react to this developing situation that will determine the future success of these reforms. The writer is a researcher, freelance writer and activistsactivistbased in Islamabad/Neelum Valley. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, June 16th 2018.