MUZAFFARABAD: AJK President, Sardar Masood Khan has proposed a joint science park at Line of Control (LoC) which separate Jammu & Kashmir and AJK as part of confidence-building measures.
“Let’s prepare for a day when we would be able to have a science park, a joint science park of J&K and AJK instead of Line of Control,” he said while talking to a high power Saudi delegation here on Saturday. The Saudi delegation comprising top officials of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, elected mayors and deputy mayors of different Saudi cities, professors’ of universities and analysts called on President Masood at President House, Muzaffarabad.
It may be recalled that Sardar Masood, while addressing Kashmir Conference in London last week, suggested a ‘Unified Kashmir’ and regarding the formation in the larger interest of Pakistan and India acting as a bridge between the two nations. Observers consider it as a change in the policy as he always said that J&K is an integral part of whole Kashmir and that belongs to Pakistan.
Talking to Saudi delegation, Sardar Masood said that the two lands, J&K and AJK could not be kept artificially divided for long. There would be one land sooner or later, he said added that another peace park can be established on the Siachen in the Baltoro Glacier region in Gilgit- Baltistan, which run through the part of Karakoram mountain range.
The president told the guests that people of the region were nonviolent and one can find calm in this state, which was the most peaceful place compared to the entire territory of Pakistan with the highest literacy rate.
Referring the Kashmir issue, Sardar Masood claimed that there is much difference between AJK and J&K, “The Indian occupied Kashmir is a terrified and terrorised part of this beautiful region. In IoK, you will find soldiers and scared population, deserted roads and closed markets only because of presence of over 700,000 troops patrolling everywhere but in AJK, you will not find this horrific situation. AJK is peaceful and calm area and offers potential opportunities for profitable investment”.
These conditions were ideal for the tourism industry and the government here was determined to turn around the economy of the region by promoting tourism and harnessing the natural resources for sustainable development.
Inviting Saudi investors to invest in AJK, the President Masood said that AJK was land of generous people and we were ready to open up our doors to our friends, the friends with whom we feel very comfortable and we feel very comfortable with our friends in Saudi Arabia.
We want that our Saudi friends should invest in the tourism sector to help the people of Azad Kashmir to develop this sector up to the mark. “I think there are very few countries in the world, which were as rich in experience in handling large number of people as Saudi Arabia because of the pilgrimage and because of hosting tens of thousands of faithful visiting the two holy places every year.
President said we were right now focusing on good roads infrastructure is being upgraded constantly and we were building another network of roads across AJK to facilitate the tourists. We also need investment in the construction of hotels, motels and low-cost cottages, he emphasized.
Masood Khan went on to say that another area for investment was the construction of parks, theme parks, sports parks, historical parks, archaeological sites and in promotion eco-tourism preserve and protect our serene lush green landscape. “Invest in AJK and get the profit”, he offered Saudi delegation.