ISLAMABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Farooq Haider Khan has failed to deliver on the pledges he made during the election campaign. These pledges included weeding out corruption from AJK, giving more power to the AJK government, across the board accountability of all corrupt elements, adherence to norms of merit in appointments in government departments, holding of local body elections in AJK within six months and devolution of powers to the grassroots level. The slogan of transferring powers from the Kashmir Council to the AJK Legislative Assembly particularly attracted the youth. The premier had promised collection of royalties on Mangla Dam and other electricity projects from the federation on par with other provinces, agreements with the federation on new power projects, acquiring shares from the federation that was equal to other provinces under the National Financial Commission and elimination of interference of the federation and other federal institutions in the political process of AJK by changing the electoral process in respect of 12 seats of the AJK Legislative Assembly reserved for refugees in Pakistan. However, not a single pledge has been fulfilled so far in this catalogue of election promises. Farooq Haider had earlier set up a small cabinet by not succumbing to the pressure of the federal ministers. He undertook better steps to deliver the pledges made with the people but he could not succeed in his plan due to persistent interference from the federal ministers. When Farooq Haider took up the reins of the government, the situation was very tense due to the martyrdom of Burhan Wani in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK). AJK was echoing with a spate of protests and the situation further deteriorated following the Uri attack on September 18. The clouds of war continued to hover over the horizon in the region. Moreover, Indian forces staged a false drama of carrying out a surgical strike. At that time, the AJK government’s performance remained confined to media statements and visits to certain areas along the Line of Control (LoC). Farooq Haider’s government had to face severe criticism due to revocation of education package introduced by the former government. The protest demonstrations gripped the capital city, Muzaffarabad, due to the sacking of more than 100 employees of the police department. The process of discretionary appointments from the Kashmir Council to the Liberation Cell began. As many as 11 people so far have been appointed as coordinators in the Liberation Cell. The AJK PM repeatedly said that there was no need to make appointments against unnecessary posts in the Liberation Cell. Moreover, he has undertaken 27 foreign trips during the first six months of his tenure, and this has become a weapon of propaganda against him, putting a question mark on the efficiency of his cabinet. It has been learnt that legislators of his own party – who are not being adjusted in the cabinet – are on their way to tabling a vote of no confidence against Farooq Haider with the connivance of political rivals. On the other hand, the federal ministers have not missed any opportunity to keep the AJK PM under their control. According to PM House sources, directives continue to come from the special assistant to PM of Pakistan with reference to adjustments and appointments. In compliance with these ‘directives’, an incompetent person, Malik Zulfiqar, has been appointed the PM Secretariat’s Girector General.