ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Across the LOC: A Political Conundrum

The spotlight has turned on the state and people-led violence in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Across the Line of Control there are other issues. An analysis of the political and institutional conditions in Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir shows that Pakistan's federal government keeps the region under strict control and people lack political freedoms. The governments of both India and Pakistan need to strengthen democracy in the regions under their control since it is only through fulfilment of the democratic aspirations of the people that a viable solution will emerge.

In January 2009, Sardar Attique Khan, the then prime minister of Pakistanadministered Jammu and Kashmir (PAJK), blamed the loss of his majority in the legislative assembly on the Pakistani state and remarked that democracy has been slaughtered. More than a year later, Attique Khan is back again as the prime minister of the region and it is now the turn of Farooq Haider, the just deposed prime minister of PAJK, to give vent to his anger against the federal government.

Haider, in his recent statement, accused the Pakistan Peoples Party-led federal government of uniting with his political rivals in the state, which resulted in his resignation. Like on previous occasions, the prime minister apparently lost his majority in the legislative assembly. This is the third time in the last four years that the sitting prime minister has lost his majority in the assembly.

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