AJK President meets Minister for Kashmir Affairs

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APP74-18 ISLAMABAD: October 18 – President Azad Jammu & Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan called on Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Khan Gandapur. APP

MIRPUR (AJK), October 18 (APP)::AJK President Sardar Masood Khan Thursday met Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, and discussed the current Kashmir situation, besides other matters of mutual interest.
The president on this occasion also congratulated him on assuming his new position in the Federal Cabinet.
During the meeting, the president invited the federal minister to visit Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), which the latter accepted and decided to visit the AJK on October 27, which is marked as Black Day in condemnation of India’s illegal military occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.
The AJK president and the minister exchanged views over the grave human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, including killings, arbitrary arrests, and other crimes against humanity being committed by the occupation forces.
The president expressed his gratitude to President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for taking a firm stand on the Kashmir issue, expressing solidarity with the struggling people of Jammu and Kashmir and demanding India to immediately stop violations of human rights in the held Kashmir.
Sardar Masood expressed the hope that Pakistan would continue to keep a strong stance on Jammu and Kashmir.
He also discussed with the minister about AJK related development projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He called for the restoration of Mansehra–Muzaffarabad–Mirpur Expressway project and construction of Leepa Tunnel to facilitating the people of Leepa Valley and help connect it with the rest of AJK especially during winters.
The AJK president also apprised the federal minister about the issue of water diversion from the River Neelum to the River Jehlum and its negative environmental impacts.
President Masood sought the federal government’s intervention and help to resolve issues like Neelum-Jehlum hydropower generation and proposed that both Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and the AJK government should ink agreements before the start of development work on all future projects to avert complications.
He told the minister that the AJK government was planning to construct a 200 kilometers long Tourism Corridor from Saran in Chakar to Devi Gali. The Corridor, he said, being away from the Line of Control would make it a very safe and secure route for the potential tourists.
President Masood highly appreciated the decision of the federal government to construct an airport at Mirpur and urged that the airports of Muzaffarabad and Rawalakot should also be expanded and operationalized.
The two sides also discussed matters related to the 13th Amendment in the AJK Interim Constitution and underlined the need to develop consensus among all the stakeholders on residual issues, while respecting transfer of administrative and financial powers to the AJK .
About Gilgit Baltistan (GB), the AJK President said people of Jammu and Kashmir considered GB an essential part of Jammu and Kashmir and the federal government must keep in mind while taking decision about the future of the region.