ISLAMABAD: Former diplomat Masood Khan will take oath as 26th president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on August 24. Azad Jammu and Kashmir Chief Justice Mohammed Azam Khan will administer oath to Khan. Khan, candidate of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), won 42 of the total 55 votes at the joint session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly and the AJK Council. His rival Chaudhry Latif Akbar of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) secured only six votes. The Muslim Conference and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) didn’t participate in the presidential election. Although the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party (JKPP) contested the general election of July 21 in partnership with the PML-N, it voted for Shazia Akbar of the PPP. Sardar Khalid Ibrahim of the JKPP has not taken oath as a member of the legislative assembly so far; therefore, he could not participate in the presidential election. Khan thanked Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for nominating him for the office of the president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and said that he would work for development of the region. He said he would highlight the Kashmir issue and pursue development goals set by the Azad Jammu and Kashmir government. He vowed to work resolutely for the freedom of the oppressed people of the Indian Occupied Kashmir. Khan retired as a grade 22 officer from the Foreign Office two years ago. Before his nomination as the president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, he was working as director general of the Institute of Strategic Studies. Khan worked with the United Nations in New York and Geneva and other multilateral forums for more than 20 years. He became president of the UN Security Council in January 2013. He was chairman of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Geneva, where he also represented as chairman of the Group of 77 and China. Khan was born in Rawalakot, Poonch and studied there. With the election of Khan, observers expect the Kashmir movement to gather momentum because he has a proven record as an ardent campaigner for the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. In August 2013, Khan was instrumental in UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon’s first official visit to Islamabad during which the UN chief had detailed talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Jammu and Kashmir. Before joining the Foreign Service, Khan worked as English lecturer and newscaster. Talking to the media after his election as president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, he expressed his concern over human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir and assured the people of occupied Kashmir of his political, diplomatic and moral support.