MIRPUR (AJK) - AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Tuesday inaugurated the three-day "Tourism Festival "at Narrol cricket stadium in the State's capital town prior the start of T-20 cricket tournament under the Lahore Qalandar, a franchisee of Pakistan Super League.

The three-day festival will last on September 6 with a variety of sports and cultural activities for the general public in the state's capital. The inaugural ceremony of the grand festival was followed by the T20 cricket competition under auspices of Lahore Qalandars.

Addressing the ceremony the AJK PM welcomed the efforts of the Lahore Qalandars for exploration of new talent in the State. "Qalandars really helped us finding the young talent and give international exposure to our players, which was their dream. I hope players like Salman Irshad will get chance to prove themselves as potential cricketers and will serve the country," he said.

The prime minister expressed gratitude to the legendary cricketers - Shoab Akhtar, Muhammad Yusaf, Aqib Javed for their best services and contributions in grounds for the country and now for promotion of skills in the AJK.

He recalled memories and shared with audiences during his speech. He announced that floodlights would be installed at this stadium during this year and present ground would also be extended and beatified. Grounds at Rawalakot, Kotli, Mirpur, and Bagh would also be expended, he added.

Prime Minister welcomed a young cricketer from occupied Kashmir who has joined the Lahore Qalandars after travelling for six days and was present on the occasion.

"I am pretty happy to have cricketer from the other part of the State in this tournament. This Ceasefire Line can't divide the Kashmiris, we have same hearts and nobody can separate us from each other," the AJK PM said. Minister for Information, Tourism and Information Technology Mushtaq Minhas, Minister for Sports Ch Muhammad Saeed, Rana Fawad, Shoab Akhtar, Muhammad Yusaf and Secretary Tourism Midhat Shahzad also addressed the ceremony.

Later, the prime minister visited the Gharri Dopatta, a spot along the Jhelum River and inaugurated the competition of White Water Rafting on Jhelum River.