ISLAMABAD, Jan 02 (APP):Various delegations representing the Kashmir community in Quetta, Balochistan Bar Council and the Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) called on President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan, during his two-day official visit to the provincial capital of Quetta.

Led by Ashraf Dar, members of the Kashmir community apprised the President of their activities in connection to raising awareness on Kashmir issue in Balochistan, said a press release received here on Thursday.

They said that the people of Balochistan have expressed their outright support for the Kashmiri people. Members of the delegation hailing from Azad Kashmir, the Kashmir valley and Jammu informed that after the August 5 communication blockade they had not been able to communicate with their relatives living in IOJK which had become a great source of pain and anguish.

The President informing them of the human rights situation in IOJK said that it is our collective responsibility to intensify our efforts for the realization of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people who are living under the illegal occupation of India.

Masood Khan urged the community members to stay united in their cause, reach out to the political parties of Balochistan to help them further understand the hardships faced by the innocent Kashmiris. He said that they must create networks within the local populace and present their recommendations for activating and mobilising an effective awareness campaign in regard to the atrocities faced by the Kashmiri people living in IOJK.

Interacting with the members of the Balochistan Bar Council, led by its Vice Chairman Saleem Lashari, the President informed them of the legal aspects of the Kashmir dispute and how members of the legal community all over Pakistan must debate on the various legal dimensions in regard to the dispute.

He said that all steps that were taken by India on August 5 and October 31 had no legal standings and were in complete contradiction to international laws and conventions. He asserted upon them to discuss the issue and engage in legal discourses on the matter. He said that the Balochistan Bar Council should also synergise their legal expertise with other bar councils of the country and come up with concrete legal recommendations on resolving the Kashmir issue and present it to the Foreign Office and other policy-making institutions of the country.

He also invited the Council members to AJK and to create linkages with AJK’s bar councils and the legal fraternity.

In a separate meeting, Badaruddin Kakar, Senior Vice President QCCI along with a delegation of leading business personalities of Quetta called on the President AJK to express their solidarity with the people of IOJK.

The President urged investing in building a knowledge economy, promoting skill development and imparting technical education amongst the masses. He said that the progress of the nation is only possible through the strengthening of the economy, encouraging economic equality and working for the prosperity of the common man.

The President invited the members of the QCCI to visit AJK and create economic and commercial linkages with the business community of AJK. He informed that businesspersons from all over the country are welcome to invest in AJK. He added that there is a huge potential for investors in AJK, especially in the mineral and extractive industry.

He informed that the members of the QCCI and Industry look forward to visiting and interacting with the AJK Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Masood Khan told members of the business community to fully capitalize on the opportunities arising from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Referring to Balochistan as an untapped gold-mine, the President said that the commercial extraction of valuable resources and rare minerals in Balochistan will have a revolutionary impact on the lives of not only the people of the province but also on the overall economy of the country.

During his interactions with the delegation, the President acknowledged and thanked the Balochistan people and government for supporting and expressing their solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He said that this sincere gesture has been registered and received very well by the Kashmiri people living on both sides of the Line of Control.