MIRPUR (AJK)-AJK President Sardar Masood Khan said on Tuesday that there were huge investment opportunities in AJK especially in the telecommunication sector.

The president expressed these views in a meeting with a delegation of top officials from Telonor Pakistan as they called on him under the leadership of CEO and president of Telenor Pakistan Irfan Wahab Khan, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Kamal Ahmad, Director Regulatory Affairs Abdul Mubeen and Director Public & Government Affairs Raza Zulfiqar.

The delegation apprised the president that Telenor being the biggest European investor in Pakistan with an investment portfolio of over $ 3.5 billion is the pioneer in mobile banking and currently holds the largest share in the mobile-banking sector in Pakistan.

The president was informed that Telenor looks forward to diversifying its products and outreach to the users in AJK. Telenor is already working on initiating tele-medicine and mobile education services in Pakistan. Similarly, they expressed their interest in extending similar services in Azad Jammu Kashmir.

Universities in AJK will benefit greatly from industry-based liaison with leading organisations, allowing a platform for students in interacting with industry leaders, said the president. He invited Telenor and other mobile operators to arrange interactive seminars in the public-sector universities helping generate interest of the students and integrating them in their research initiatives and their timely employment.

Irfan Wahab accepted the invitation, and said that he would take initiative to organise such seminars.

President Masood welcomed the proposals of the delegation, and said that the AJK market provides diverse opportunities of investment. He said that the government was striving to provide access to quality education, introduce new development projects, especially in the infrastructure, health, energy production, mineral extraction and agriculture. The Mansehra-Muzaffarabad-Mirpur Expressway will help connect almost all the divisions of AJK and the newly planned Mirpur Industrial Zone-under the CPEC Project- with the main artery of the CPEC route, leading to the economic growth of the region, he said.

“AJK is the most literate region of Pakistan and with 5 public-sector universities, we are introducing modern and cutting edge disciplines to help raise the standards of graduating students,” he said. He further said that AJK had huge potential in the tourism industry and for it to flourish there is a need for connectivity, specifically 3G and 4G internet connectivity.

He expressed his interest in enabling the graduates of public sector universities in AJK in gaining employment in reputed multi-national organisations. Telenor has enormous potential to absorb the capable young graduates from Azad Kashmir, said the President.

Masood said that the people of Kashmir were becoming economically strong and their growing purchasing power would help draw in investments in all sectors like retail, telecommunication, service based industries and luxury goods.

The delegation expressed their gratitude for the interest of the president in opening up new investment avenues for modern technological industries, especially telecommunication and reliable connectivity. It also requested the president to help expedite the auction process of awarding licence for new generation mobile services to the operators in AJK through the Jammu and Kashmir Council.