Kaira dispels impression to minimize AJK’s autonomy

Pakistan seeks peace, good relations with its neighbours: Kaira
Pakistan seeks peace, good relations with its neighbours: Kaira

MUZAFFARABAD, Aug 03 (APP): Prime Minister’s advisor on Kashmir and Galgit Baltistan (GB) affairs Qamar uz Zaman Kaira has categorically dispelled the impression that federal government was going to minimize AJK’s autonomy through 15th amendment in interim constitution act 1974.

“We had empowered the provinces through 18th amendment in 1973 constitution and always did and intended to devolve the powers to AJK and GB as well,” Kaira clarified in a press conference in the Press Club here on Wednesday during his day long tour to AJK’s capital.

Opposition leader in AJK Assembly Chaudhary Latif Akbar and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) members Sardar Javed Ayood and Bazil Naqvi were accompanying him.

He explained the background of the constitution and of of sub-committee to suggest draft of amendment in interim constitution of 1974 and said the proposal was being considered during the previous Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI) government from 2020.

“Pakistan Peoples Party is a giver and will never take powers of any institution or a federating unit rather would always devolve powers to local level,” Kaira added saying the move to bring 15th amendment in the 1974 Act was aimed at removing anomalies in the 13th and 14th amendments regarding subjects related to federal government and federal legislative list.

He made it clear that no administrative or financial powers transferred to AJK government through 13th amendment shall be withdrawn and said he will consult all the political parties of AJK after the preparation of proposed draft by subcommittee.

He said the purpose of his visit was to evaluate the damages caused by rains and review the progress on a rehabilitation project of 1989 Kashmiri refugees as directed by the Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
He said despite the financial crunch, the federal government was generous to AJK as it had increased its budget and released fourth quarter installment of development projects of last fiscal year.

“Rs. 3 billion have been released a day before the budget as first installment of the rehabilitation of refugees project despite difficult financial situation and now there should be no delay in implementation of project,” he added reiterating his full support in this regard.

He said under the project, 8 thousand houses will be constructed for rehabilitation of refugees who have migrated from Indian occupied Kashmir due to atrocities since 1989 onward.

He said the damages done by devastated rains in AJK were comparatively less than other areas as 25 deaths were reported however federal government would provide Rs.1 million for each sick family besides compensation of other property damages.