Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Barrister Sultan Mahmood was elected the president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Tuesday.
Barrister Sultan secured 34 votes as against opposition candidate Mian Abdul Wahid’s 16.
The barrister will succeed Sardar Masood Khan as the president whose stipulated constitutional term will come to an end on August 24.
Votes for electing the AJK president were cast during a special session of the legislative assembly, which began after a delay of two hours, the state broadcaster reported.
Soon after Barrister Sultan was announced winner in the election, PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan congratulated him in a tweet.
“Congratulations to PTI Barrister Sultan Mehmood on his election as President of Azad Kashmir and best wishes. Inshallah you will play a high role for the rights of Kashmiris as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and bring real change in Kashmir. Amen,” he tweeted.
Barrister Sultan, who is the PTI’s regional president, was elected as a member of the AJK Legislative Assembly from LA-3, Mirpur-III on July 25, securing his seventh victory in nine general elections since 1985. Apart from these nine general elections, two by-elections were also held in this constituency and both were won by him.
Prior to his nomination as the PTI’s candidate for presidential elections, he was expecting to be nominated as the candidate for prime minister. However, on August 5 Sardar Abdul Qayyum Niazi was picked by Prime Minister Imran Khan for the coveted office.
It is learnt that the PTI leadership had told him that after his elevation to the presidency, his son would be launched from Mirpur-III and subsequently inducted in the cabinet in bid to convince him to agree to become the party’s candidate in the presidential election.
He was reluctant to be the president as he has to leave the assembly seat and party’s top regional office. But he changed his mind after Prime Minister Imran persuaded him to become president.