ISLAMABAD, Oct 13 (APP): President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Masood Khan Thursday said that poverty was a cruse and the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) was playing a commendable role in its alleviation from AJK.

“The programme has achieved admirable results for poverty
reduction, primary enrollment and women empowerment,” Masood Khan said while speaking at a plenary conference where the BISP Progress Report 2014 16 was presented, said a press release.

Minister of State and Chairperson BISP Marvi Memon, Deputy Speaker AJK Legislative Assembly Farooq Tahir, Minister for Works Chaudhry Aziz, Minister for Education Barrister Iftikhar Gillani, Minister for Health Dr Najeeb Naqi, Minister for Forests Mir Ali Akbar, Minister for Social Welfare and Women Development Raja Noreen Arif, secretaries of various departments, representatives of NGOs and civil society, journalists and BISP beneficiaries were among those who attended the conference.

The AJK President said that his heart went out for the pellet
gun blinded Kashmiri people of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) who despite curfew and Indian atrocities were taking to streets for their fundamental right of freedom.

“International community must take notice of human rights
violation in IHK. He said that he would leave no stone unturned in raising the Kashmir cause at all forums,” he said.

Chairperson BISP Marvi Memon paid tribute to the struggle of people of Kashmiri and reiterated the support for oppressed Kashmiris in IHK.

She stated that incumbent President and Prime Minister of AJK was a perfect combination that would extend all moral and political support to the Kashmir cause at all forums till the issue was resolved as per resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

She also appreciated Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for his superb advocacy of Kashmir issue at the United Nations and all levels.

Talking about BISP, Memon stated that BISP has achieved many milestones in the last two years.

She said as many as 169,144 households of AJK received BISP stipend on quarterly basis and 34,185 children had been enrolled in Mirpur, Bagh and Kotli under the Waseela e Taleem (WeT) initiative.

“BISP has embarked upon Biometric Verification System (BVS) for bringing transparency and efficiency in payment mechanism. Pilot phase of new poverty survey to update National Socio Economic Registry (NSER) includes Mirpur (AJ&K). Updated NSER would be an asset for planning and development in the country and all departments of AJK government besides providing financial assistance to the needy,” she recounted.

The chairperson reiterated that BISP was a unique programme that supported Sustainable Development Goals of poverty reduction, zero hunger, quality education and gender equality, adding “Primary objective is to empower women while instilling values of empowerment, dignity and promoting interprovincial harmony.”

She said that women were held in high esteem in Islam. “The
women should be given their due rights as per principles of Islam.

Memon said she always took pride in her beneficiaries who
despite financial and social constraints are fighting for their rights.

The president distributed appreciation certificates among 10
BISP beneficiaries from all across the AJK for their struggle
against poverty.

On the occasion, the beneficiaries stated that besides helping
them financially, the BISP had been pivotal in empowering them socially and economically.