Azad Jammu and Kashmir has Parliamentary Democratic System under which the Prime Minister of AJ&K is executive head and President of AJ&K is constitutional head of the state. The democratic setup was introduced in 1970 under the presidential system on the basis of adult franchise when Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayyum Khan took over the charge of first elected President of AJ&K as the head of the Government and head of the State as well. For the first time the people of AJ&K and the refugees of Jammu and Kashmir settled in Pakistan elected the Legislative Assembly as well as President for Azad Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of adult franchise. The Assembly consisted of 24 members and one co-opted lady member. The Presidential system worked for four years. Later on in 1974, some major constitutional changes were made when the interim constitution – Act, 1974, was adopted and Parliamentary system of democracy was introduced in the State. The first elected Assembly completed its tenure and approved 56 bills, which were of religious as well as of public importance. This Assembly also passed many resolutions of public importance.
The second Assembly came into existence in 1975 under the Interim Constitution Act, 1974, which has undergone 11 amendments so for. For the first time in the history of AJ&K Parliamentary system was introduced and Prime Minister, as the executive head of the State, was elected by the majority of the votes of the Assembly. Mr. Khan Abdul Hameed Khanwas elected as First Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan was elected as President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The Assembly consisted of forty two members, among them 40 members were elected by the people of AJ&K and refugees settled in Pakistan, and two co-opted ladies members. This Assembly worked for two years and was suspended w.e.f August, 1977, due to the enforcement of Martial Law in Pakistan. This Assembly, in very short span of two years, worked diligently and showed tremendous results by approving 51 bills and passed the resolutions on Kashmir issue and on many other matters concerning public. On the dissolution of the Assembly Brigadier Muhammad Hayat Khan was appointed as Chief executive on 31-10-1978. He remained in office up to 31-1-1983 with the exclusive power of Chief executive and president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Later on Maj. General ® Abdul Rehman was appointed as President/ Chief executive on 1-2-1983. He remained in the office up to 30-9-1985.
The democratic system remained suspended up to 1985, when the Martial Law was lifted and civil setup was established in Pakistan. The election of Legislative Assembly were held and Sardar Sikander Hayat Khan took over the charge as Prime Minister and Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan as the President of the State. This Assembly was elected for five years and worked till 1990. This Assembly approved 109 bills and passed resolutions on various subjects. The constitution was amended and six more seats of the Assembly were approved. It contained 48 members out of which 40 members were elected and 8 seats were reserved for the members elected by the Assembly. Five seats were reserved for ladies, one for technocrats, one for Overseas Kashmiris and one for Ullmah and Mashaikh.
The elections for fourth Assembly were held in 1990. Raja Mumtaz Hussain Rathore was elected as Prime Minister while Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayyum Khan elected as President of AJ&K. This Assembly could worked for only one year up to 1991, because the Prime Minister Raja Mumtaz Hussain Rathore had dissolved the Assembly. No legislation was made by this Assembly but passed many resolutions on various subjects including Kashmir issue.
The fifth Assembly came into existence in 1991. Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayyum Khanwas elected as Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khanwas elected as President. This Assembly worked for five years up to 1996. This Assembly worked tremendously and approved 145 bills and passed the resolutions on Kashmir and other matters of public importance. Many delegations of different countries, especially America, Britain and other European countries, visited Azad Kashmir.
The sixth Assembly came into existence in 1996. Barrister Sultan Mehmood Ch. was elected as Prime Minister and Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan was elected as President. This Assembly approved 44 bills and passed many resolutions about Kashmir issue and other Public concerning matters.
The seventh Assembly came into existence on 5 th July 2001, and elected Sardar Sikander Hayat Khan as Prime Minister and Maj. General®Sardar Mohammad Anwar Khan elected by joint sittingas President. This Assembly approved 78 bills and has the honor of having been addressed (joint sessions of Assembly and Council) by the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan on various occasions. The constitution was amended once again and through 11 th constitutional amendment one more seat was approved for the Azad Jammu and Kashmir, hence the total strength of seats for Azad Jammu and Kashmir become 49.
The General election for Eighth Assembly were held on 11th July, 2006 and elected Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan as Prime Minister and Raja Zulqarnain Khan was elected as President. Later on 07 January 2009 to 22 October 2009 Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan elected as a prime minister , 23 October 2009 to 29 July 2010 Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan elected as a prime minister and then again Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan elected as a prime minister from 29th July 2010 to 26th July 2011.
The General election for Ninth Assembly were held on 26th June 2011and elected Chaudhry Abdul Majeed as Prime Minister and Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan was elected as President. The Legislative Assembly elected its Speaker, Sardar Ghulam Sadiq Khan, on 25th July, 2011.
The General election for Tenth Assembly were held on 21st July 2016and elected Raja Farooq Hadir Khan as Prime Minister and Sardar Masood Khan was elected as President. The Legislative Assembly elected its Speaker, Shah Ghulam Qadir Khan, on 30th July, 2016 to 3rd August 2022.
The General election for Eleventh Assembly were held on 25th July 2021 and elected Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan Nayazi as 13th Prime Minister, 4th August 2021 to 14 April 2022 and Sultan Mehmood Chaudhary was elected as President. The Legislative Assembly of AJ&K elected its Speaker, Ch. Anwar ul Haq , on 3rd August, 2021. Later on Sardar Tanveer ilyas elected as 14th Prime minister, 18 April 2022 to 11th April 2023, he has been disqualified as Member Legislative Assembly and as Prime Minister of AJ&K due to decision of Honorable High Court in contempt of court.
The Legislative Assembly of AJ&K has elected Ch. Anwar-ul-Haq as 15th Prime Minister of AJ&K on 20th April 2023.
This Assembly comprises of 53 members and the distribution of seats is as under: