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Pakistan: The All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC); its organizational structure, leaders, political agenda - including how this group differs from other Kashmiri groups/parties - and its activities

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 8 July 2003
Citation / Document Symbol PAK41671.E
Reference 1
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Pakistan: The All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC); its organizational structure, leaders, political agenda - including how this group differs from other Kashmiri groups/parties - and its activities, 8 July 2003, PAK41671.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3f7d4df2e.html [accessed 24 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

General Information

Founded in 1948, the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC) is a political organization that "advocates the holding of a free plebiscite in the whole of Kashmir" (Europa World Yearbook 2002 2002, 3107).

According to the Peshawar Bureau Chief for The Nation,

All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference is a political force functioning at the moment in Pakistani occupied Kashmir. However, the party [also has] organs and association [with] Indian occupied Kashmir.

...

[The AJKMC] is a regional party confined in [the] Kashmir region, but in Pakistan its leadership always remain[s] in close association with [the] Pakistan Muslim League and sometime[s] with Jamaat Islami (a militant group headed by Qazi Hussain Ahmad). In fact, now Jamaat Islami [has] established its own party in Kashmir region; therefore, [the] Muslim Conference is unhappy with that (Bureau Chief 27 June 2003).

However, Dawn reported that in a public meeting, while making reference to Jamaat-i-Islami and People's Party, Sardar Qayyum, "the Muslim Conference chief and former AJK prime minister," stated, "'We do politics at our own without any outside assistance or aid'" (24 Aug. 2001).

In 1997, the AJKMC split into two factions–one led by Sardar Qayyum and the other by Sardar Sikandar (Dawn 24 Aug. 2001; ibid. n.d.). According to one news report,

... the Muslim Conference had always been contesting elections without entering into an alliance with any other party and had been emerging as the single largest party in the assembly.

However, cracks in this party had become visible during its second term in office, when Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan was prime minister and Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan president. The differences between the two top leaders, which had remained under the surface until the[y] burst into the open in 1991-96. The infighting between the two reached such serious proportions that the Peoples Party, with full moral and material support from the then federal government of Benazir Bhutto, succeeded in clinching an overwhelming majority in the elections in June 1996. (ibid. n.d.).

The AJKMC was reunited in May 2001 following encouragement extended to Qayyum and Sikandar from members of both factions (Dawn 24 Aug. 2001; ibid. n.d.).

In January 2003, The Nation indicated that the AJKMC is Azad Kashmir's ruling party (7 Jan. 2003). Azad Kashmir is the part of Kashmir that is under Pakistani authority, while the remaining part of Kashmir is "under Indian military occupation" (CALTECH 10 Nov. 1997).

While the Europa World Yearbook 2002 indicates that the president of the AJKMC is Sardar Sikandar Hyat Khan (2002, 3107), various sources have reported that he is the prime minister of Azad Kashmir (Dawn 24 Aug. 2001; ibid. 26 July 2001; UK Apr. 2003, par. 6.200; Radio Pakistan 1 Aug. 2001). Some sources have reported that Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan is both (Pakistan 7 June 2003; The News 25 July 2001).

According to the Bureau Chief,

The Muslim Conference at the moment is headed by Sardar Attique Ur Rehman, a young Member of the Legislative Assembly Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Pakistan side). Earlier, his father Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayoom Khan had led the party for more than four decades. Sardar Qayoom himself remained President and Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir for several times. Sardar Qayoom is also considered a favourite of [the] Pakistani establishment (27 June 2003).

Sardar Sikandar is running affairs of AJK [Azad Jammu Kashmir government] as its prime minister, while Sardar Attique is leading the party.

Both Sardar Abdul Qayoom Khan and Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan are close to [the] Pakistani establishment on the basis of their popularity amongst the Kashmiri people (28 June 2003).

In August 2001, Paknews.com, the Website of the United States-based Pakistan News Service, also reported that Sardar Attiq-ur-Rehman is the president of AJKMC (21 Aug. 2002).

Several sources have also indicated that the president of AJKMC is Sardar Atiq Ahmed Khan (Dawn6 Jan. 2003; The Nation 7 Jan. 2003; Paknews.com 5 Mar. 2003; ibid. 22 Jan. 2003; ibid. 6 July 2002; AFP 24 Sept. 2002; Khabrain 19 May 2003).

The Organizational Structure of the AJKMC

Very little information on the organizational structure of the AJKMC was found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate: According to Paknews.com, the AJKMC has a Human Rights Wing, that has organized at least one seminar on elections in the Kashmir Valley (1 Oct. 2002), and The Nation reported that AJKMC is active in the United Kingdom and "other European countries" (7 Jan. 2003).

The Political Agenda of the AJKMC

The political agenda of the AJKMC is to liberate Kashmir (Pakistan 7 June 2003; The Pakistan Newswire 18 July 2000). In an April 2002 address to the elders and workers of Mirpur, the president of the AJKMC, Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan, "called upon the world community to take immediate notice of the plight of the Kashmiri people, particularly the increasing human rights abuses in the occupied Jammu Kashmir state at the hands of the Indian occupation forces" (Dawn 21 Apr. 2002).

According to the Bureau Chief,

The AJK Muslim Conference is considered an ally of Pakistan, and so far it favour[s] annexation of Kashmir with Pakistan. On such grounds, the party's main resource[s] ... depend on Pakistan.

... the Muslim Conference is a rival of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference. The National Conference ... favour[s] annexation of Kashmir with India and on such grounds, both National Conference and Muslim Conference are considered each other's rival (27 June 2003).

AJKMC in Comparison to Other Kashmiri Political Organizations

In May 2003, Khabrain, an Islamabad-based daily newspaper, reported that the AJKMC, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Jamaat-I-Islami Azad Kashmir (JIAK), the People's Party Azad Kashmir (PPAK), Jamiat-I-Ulema-I-Islam Jammu and Kashmir (JUIJK), Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement (JKPM), Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JUD) and Khuddam-ul-Islam all support Pakistan-India talks so long as they are "meaningful and focused on Kashmir" (19 May 2003). All of these groups also want Pakistan to ask India "to exercise flexibility and pull back its troops from Kashmir," without any change in Pakistani policy (Khabrain19 May 2003). The article also went on to state that

[the Kashmiri parties] will not accept any formula for the division of Kashmir, nor will [they] compromise on jihad in Kashmir. The ongoing jihad in Kashmir is legal and permissible under UN resolutions. This jihad is in fact a liberation struggle and anyone who desires can give up supporting [them] but [their] liberation movement and jihad will continue. These leaders [of Kashmiri parties] favored the expansion of Pakistan's nuclear program but said that Pakistan's nuclear program should not be linked to the solution of the Kashmir conflict and it must continue (ibid.).

According to the Bureau Chief, the AJKMC is different from other Kashmiri parties and political groups in the sense that some of the Kashmiri parties, such as the Kashmir Liberation Front, favour an independent Kashmir while others favour the division of Kashmir and the AJKMC prefers the "annexation" of Kashmir with Pakistan (27 June 2003).

The Activities of the AJKMC

Some of the activities of the AJKMC that have been reported by media sources include organizing the Pakistan Solidarity Walk in August 2002 (Paknews.com 21 Aug 2002), organizing, in conjunction with the Jammu Kashmir Youth Alliance in January 2003, a protest demonstration in favour of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people, (Dawn 6 Jan. 2003) and organizing annual public meetings commemorating the first gunshot fired at Dogra troops in August 1947 (ibid. 24 Aug. 2001).

According to the Bureau Chief, AJKMC does support "militancy" in Indian occupied Kashmir under what is called by its leadership, the "'liberation of that part of Kashmir from the Indian rulers'" (27 June 2003).

In 1999, The Nation reported that, according to Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, "Mujahideen fighting against [the] Indian army in Kargil ha[s] made it clear to the world that they [Kashmiri groups] can liberate any area from [the] Indian army and can maintain control ...there" (29 July 1999).

In January 2001, Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan "urged Kashmiri Jihadi organisations not to create hindrances in the [peace] process alleging the non-Kashmiri militant organization[s] were [a] major hurdle in the negotiating settlement of the Kashmir issue" (The News 5 Jan. 2001). However, in August 2001, Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan reportedly stated that "'today we are more organized for jihad and will not hesitate from rendering any sacrifice for the freedom struggle'" (Dawn 24 Aug. 2001).

In June 2001, Paknews.com reported that an "[i]ntense exchange of antagonistic slogans" had "triggered" a conflict between supporters of the AJKMC and the People's Party (PPP) (30 June 2001). The conflict escalated when "the supporters of [the] Muslim Conference opened fire which left two persons killed" (30 June 2001).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Agence France Presse (AFP). 24 September 2002. "AFP: Protests in Pakistan Against Kashmir Poll." (FBIS-NES-2002-0924 26 Sept. 2002/WNC)

Bureau Chief, The Nation, Peshawar, Pakistan. 28 June 2003. Correspondence.

_____. 27 June 2003. Correspondence.

California Institute of Technology (CALTECH). 10 November 1997. "Kashmir Home Page!" [Accessed 27 June 2003]

Dawn [Karachi]. n.d. Tariq Naqash. "What the Polls Hold." [Accessed 26 June 2003]

_____. 6 January 2003. "Kashmiris Vow to Continue Struggle for Freedom." [Accessed 26 June 2003]

_____. 21 April 2002. "'Kashmiris to Boycott Polls'." [Accessed 26 June 2003]

_____. 24 August 2001. "Liberation Struggle Top Priority, Says Sikandar Hayat." [Accessed 26 June 2003]

_____. 26 July 2001. Tariq Naqash. "Sikandar Hayat Sworn in AJK PM." [Accessed 26 June 2003]

The Europa World Year Book 2002. 2002. 42nd ed. Vol. 2. "Pakistan: Political Organizations." London: Europa Publications Ltd.

Khabrain [Islamabad, in Urdu]. 19 May 2003. Irfan Qureshi and Kamal Azfar. "Pakistan: Kashmiri Leaders Back Talks; Yes to Jihad, No to Division of Kashmir." (FBIS-NES-2003-0519 23 May 2003/WNC)

The Nation [Lahore]. 7 January 2003. "Kashmir Issue to Be Raised in Europe, Says Attique." [Accessed 25 June 2003]

_____. 29 July 1999. "Kashmiri Leader: Kargil Withdrawal 'Prudent'." (FBIS-NES-1999-0729 30 July 1999/WNC)

The News [Islamabad]. 25 July 2001. "Pakistani Kashmir Assembly Elects Siknadar Hayat Khan PM." (FBIS-NES-2001-0725 26 July 2001/WNC)

_____. 5 January 2001. Khizar Hayat Abbasi. "Pakistan-Held Kashmir Politicians Urge Mujahidden to Support APHC's Peace Moves." (FBIS-NES-2001-0105 8 Jan. 2001/WNC)

Pakistan [Islamabad, in Urdu]. 7 June 2003. Assadullah Ghalib. "Pakistani Article: Forget UN Assistance on Kashmir, Rely on Internal 'Wisdom'." (FBIS-NES-2003-0608 11 June 2003/WNC)

The Pakistan Newswire. 18 July 2000. "Accession to Pakistan Resolution Basis for Kashmir Liberation." (19 July 2000/NEXIS)

Paknews.com. 5 March 2003. "Pak's Kashmir Policy Acknowledged by US Leaders." [Accessed 27 June 2003]

_____. 22 January 2003. "Pak India Can Use Resources for Development." [Accessed 27 June 2003]

_____. 1 October 2002. "MC HR Wing Holds Seminar, Slams Indian Designs." [Accessed 27 June 2003]

_____. 21 August 2002. "Memon Links Peace to Kashmir Resolution." [Accessed 27 June 2003]

_____. 6 July 2002. "Al-Qaida a Product of Indian Agencies: Attiq." [Accessed 27 June 2003]

_____. 30 June 2001. "Two Including One Cop Died in Clash Between PPP and Muslim Conference." [Accessed 27 June 2003]

Radio Pakistan [Islamabad]. 1 August 2001. "Pakistan: Retired Army General Elected President of Azad Kashmir." (BBC Monitoring/NEXIS)

United Kingdom (UK). April 2003. Immigration and Nationality Directorate, Home Office. "Pakistan Assessment." Country Assessment. [Accessed 27 June 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

A lecturer in sociology at the University of Birmingham, who is author of "Pluralism and Democracy in Jammu Kashmir and Kashmir Conflict: Tracing the Effect of Division on Pluralist Movement," which was presented at the 53rd annual Political Science Association conference, University of Leicester, England, April 2003, did not respond to a letter requesting information within time constraints.

All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, did not respond to a letter requesting information within time constraints.

IRB databases

Unsuccessful attempts to contact All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference in the United Kingdom.

Internet sites, including:

Amnesty International

Azar Kashmir government

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2003

European Country of Origin Information Network

Human Rights Watch

The Institute of Kashmir Studies

jammu-kashmir.com

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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