MUZAFFARABAD: AJK President Sardar Masood Khan briefed the foreign diplomats about overall Kashmir situation and pace of development as a result of ongoing CPEC projects.
While speaking to foreign diplomats undergoing the 26th Advanced Diplomatic Course at the Foreign Service Academy here, the President said that the Government of Azad Kashmir was focused on development of basic infrastructure, construction of roads, energy sector, tourism, telecommunication, industries and agriculture.
He said that universal access to health and ensuring quality education are our main priorities.
The event was also attended by AJK Member Legislative Assembly Chaudhry Shehzad Mahmood and Director General Kashmir Institute of Management Sciences Brigadier (R) Syed Akhtar Hussain Shah.
Elaborating on the inclusion of AJK in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said, four dedicated projects have been approved for this region. This, he said, includes the Korat Hydro Power Project (720 MW), Kohala Hydro Power Project (1124 MW), Mansehra to Mirpur Expressway and a state of the art Industrial Zone in Mirpur. He said work on these projects are at various stages of planning and implementation.
President Masood Khan said that Azad Kashmir enjoys the highest literacy rate in the Pakistan. With an 85% literacy rate, AJK has outstripped other regions in Pakistan in the sectors of enrolment, retention, learning and gender parity, he said while adding that despite meagre resources, AJK has 5 public sector universities, 3 medical colleges, 2 cadet colleges and numerous degree colleges spread across the state.
The AJK Government, he said, has three priorities which include accelerating the freedom struggle; good governance through ensuring accountability, transparency and upholding merit; and economic development. He added that AJK has the lowest crime rate in Pakistan and the people are peaceful. This, along with the economic development and growing middle class makes AJK a great place for national and international investors.
Responding to the questions of the diplomats, the President said that India is using coercion, economic inducements and its political allies to intimidate and persecute Kashmiris. India has also resorted to the use of murder, illegal incarceration, demographic transformation, pellet guns and rape to subdue the unarmed indigenous struggle of the Kashmiris towards attaining their inalienable right to self-determination.
The diplomats expressed their pleasure in visiting Azad Kashmir and informed that this trip has helped raise their awareness about the Kashmir issue and understanding governance and developmental priorities of the Azad Government.