MUZAFFARABAD: Renowned diplomat and former Ambassador to  the United Nations and China, Masood Khan, was elected President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir by a vast majority during polling by joint electoral college comprising  55 members of AJK Legislative Assembly and AJK Council.

Mr Masood Khan got 42 votes while opponent Chaudhry Latif Akbar of PPP polled only six votes. Muslim Conference and PTI did not take part in the voting.

After election as President Azad Kashmir, Masood Khan vowed to work resolutely for the just cause of freeing the oppressed people of the Indian Occupied Kashmir and to help with the development of AJK.

Masood Khan was nominated by the Muslim League (N) AJK as their Presidential candidate. Prime Minister AJK Raja Farooq Haider himself proposed the name of Masood Khan on behalf of his majority parliamentary party.       

Masood Khan enjoys the confidence of AJK Assembly and AJK Council along with support from a wide political spectrum of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.

Masood Khan has thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his nomination and for having full confidence in him. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appreciated the role of Masood Khan in highlighting the Kashmir cause during his various diplomatic assignments particularly during his tenure as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN.

Masood Khan was born in Rawalakot, Poonch and studied there

Masood Khan has worked with the UN in New York and Geneva and other multilateral forums for more than twenty years. He became President of the UN Security Council in January 2013. He was Chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Geneva, where he also represented, as Chairman of the Group of 77 and China, 131 developing countries in various international organizations.

With the election of Masood Khan, observers expect the Kashmir movement to gather momentum as the newly elected President 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, end to Indian atrocities, and the initiation of a sustained, substantive and structured dialogue process to resolve disputes between India and Pakistan. 

Over the years, Masood Khan has worked hard in the United Nations and various capitals to build support for the realization of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. During his tenure as Permanent Representative to the United Nations he reached out to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council to persuade them to fulfill the UN's promise to help decide Kashmir's political future through a fair, just and democratic dispensation.

In August 2013 he helped organize the UN Secretary General Ban's first official visit to Islamabad during which the Secretary General had, inter alia, detailed talks on Jammu and Kashmir with the newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. On that occasion, the Secretary General offered his mediation and good offices to India and Pakistan subject to their concurrence.

He is also a renowned broadcaster and was an English newscaster and a TV anchor in his twenties.