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All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC)

The All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AKJMC) has been one of two major political parties in the Pakistan-ruled part of Kashmir. It is not an armed-struggle group.

In 1932 Sheik Abdullah formed Kashmir's first political party, the AKJMC, with a demand for merger of Kashmir into India. His party was renamed the National Conference in 1939 to suite the secular nature of Kashmiri culture. The AKJMC, led by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, espoused a secular ideology and wished to create a secular, democratic but independent Kashmir with close ties to India.

When the AKJMC was converted into a secular political party in 1939, the Muslim leaders amended the Constitution of the Muslim Conference, renamed it as the AKJMC, modified its objectives and threw its membership open to all the people of the State. On 13 June 1941, the breakaway factions of the National Conference revived the erstwhile Muslim Conference.

The AKJMC, which led the Muslim movement for Pakistan in the State, apparantly on the instructions of the Muslim League, initially declared its support for an independent Jammu and Kashmir State. Before the approval of the Partition of India Plan, Kashmiris had made a decision in regard to their future. On 19 July 1947, a convention of AKJMC held in Srinagar, adopted the "Accession to Pakistan Resolution" demanding accession of the Kashmir state to Pakistan. It was in Sardar Ibrahim's house in Srinagar that the AJKMC working committee meeting passed the resolution seeking Kashmir's accession to Pakistan, reversing an earlier resolution for the state's independence. A government led by Sardar Ibrahim was formed on 24 October 1947, after he arrived in Pakistan from Srinagar in disguise.

After the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1950-51, the Government of Pakistan had come to an agreement with the AKJMC that all cases of a political nature would not be prosecuted. In 1955 the AKJMC was the political party nominally in power in Pakistan-held Kashmir.

In the 1996 elections in Azad Kashmir, the Pakistan People's Party, led by Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, aimed to oust Azad Kashmir premier Sardar Abdul Qayyum. Qayyum's AKJMC Party was closely linked with opposition parties in Pakistan.

In July 2001 the stage was set for AKJMC to form a government in Azad Kashmir as it gained a majority in the AJK Legislative Assembly elections, defeating its nearest rival, the AJK branch of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The main political parties contesting the election were Benazir Bhutto's PPP, the AKJMC and the Jamaat-e-Islami. The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) decided to boycott the elections after the rejection of nomination papers for 25 JKLF candidates.

Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan of the AKJMC was declared the new Prime Minister of the Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The AJKMC was led by former rebel Sardar Abdul Qayyum.

Former vice chief of Pakistan army Major Gen Sardar Mohammad Anwar Khan was nominated as President of PoK by the AKJMC on 29 July 2003. He replaced Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim of the PPP. Major Gen Mohammad Anwar was retired from the army the night before under an ordinance issued by President General Pervez Musharraf. The ordinance also waived the restriction on Government servants to accept any political post before a minimum of two years of retirement. Major General Anwar was nominated as President of PoK following differences that persist in the Muslim Conference.

Sardar Abdul Qayyum, who was the head of the party, had declined to become President of the State. He wanted his son Sardar Attique to become Prime Minister of PoK, but his demand was not met. Thereafter, Sardar Qayyum also refused to accept the post of President. Newly sworn-in Prime Minister Sardar Sikandar Khan also appealed to Sardar Qayyum to accept the Presidency, but he refused.

Former Azad Kashmir president Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim Khan died in Islamabad on 31 July 2004. Sardar Ibrahim served four terms in office, twice appointed by the territory's oldest AJKMC party under a then-prevailing arrangement and twice as elected president. His last term in office was from 25 August 1996, to 24 August 2001, after which he parted company with the PPP, but entered into a coalition with it through the breakaway Azad Kashmir People's Party led by his son Khalid Ibrahim.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 13:02:14 ZULU