MUZAFFARABAD (APP) - Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday said Pakistans principled stance on Kashmir issue remains unchanged and it would continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir. He was addressing a ceremony in remembrance of those who died in the 2005 devastating earthquake of 7.6 magnitude on the Richter scale, which killed around 80,000 people and rendered over three million homeless in AJK and parts of NWFP. Prime Minister said the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Occupied Kashmir were inseparable. We are one and will remain so, he said amidst applause. Gilani who is on a daylong visit to the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir categorically stated There is no change in Pakistans principled stance on Kashmir. The PM said giving internal autonomy to Gilgit-Baltistan would not have any negative impact on Pakistans position on the Kashmir dispute. He recalled the famous saying of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah who described Kashmir as the jugular vein of Pakistan and said the same has been pursued by Pakistan Peoples Party. Meanwhile, addressing the inaugural ceremony of the conference organised by National Disaster Management Authority, marking 4th anniversary of devastating earthquake in Islamabad, Prime Minister stressed the need for enhanced public-private partnership in an early warning and effective emergency response system to mitigate the effects of disaster. The PM said the existing response system needs to be strengthened through institutional capacity building at the federal, provincial and district levels to affect a timely response to deal with large scale disasters. He said the government had evolved a multi-pronged strategy for a comprehensive and composite disaster management system. He said the government plans to institutionalise the system by focussing on prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and relief. These development strategies aim at risk reduction and mitigation, he added. Giani said the earthquake demonstrated resilience of the Pakistani nation that overcame this unprecedented catastrophe. The tragic event made us realise the need for strengthening our national capacities for scientific management of disasters and disaster risks to avoid the kind of loss of life and property we suffered. The PM said the earthquakes of 2005 in NWFP and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir; the one in 2008 in Balochistan, cyclone and floods of 2007 in Sindh and Balochistan and the concurrent menace of terrorism and resultant displacement of millions of people speaks volumes of threats posed by disaster risks in Pakistan. The challenge before us might be formidable, but we are on the right track, he said. He said the National Disaster Management Commission, represented by all provincial chief ministers and leaders of the opposition in Parliament was fully functional as the apex policy making body, along with the NDMA. He said the Disaster Management Commission and Authorities at the provincial level and similar institutions in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA region have been established. The national road map for enhancing the institutional capacities for effective and efficient disaster management has been developed in the form of National Disaster Risk Management Framework. Gilani said NDMA was pursuing a range of countrywide disaster risk reduction initiatives in nine priority areas as identified in the framework. He said An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure was the simplest formula for risk reduction and mentioned a recent international expert study has shown that one dollar invested today in disaster reduction saves four dollars in the future cost of relief and rehabilitation, a bargain by any standards. Gilani said the government has already brought about a paradigm shift, from reactive and emergency approach to preparedness and mitigation approach, through enforcement of the new disaster management system. In line with the new system, we need to adopt risk sensitive approach in development programming in all sectors, he said. He said the purpose of this effort would be to ensure that the development infrastructure in hazard prone areas is built to higher standards of hazard resilience. He said Pakistan needs to strengthen its early warning capacities, especially for droughts and floods, which occur frequently and have high social and economic impact. He said an effective emergency response system was highly imperative for reducing the impact of disasters. He pointed that safer hospitals and schools were critical for a holistic approach to disaster risk reduction. Safer hospitals ensure efficient medical response in the event of disasters, thus minimizing the impact on the affected population. He said the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with provincial health departments and other stakeholders must devise a comprehensive strategy in this regard. He said the Ministry of Education, in close coordination with the provincial education departments and other relevant stakeholders must devise a comprehensive plan to make schools safer from future disasters. This is extremely important keeping in view the bitter memories of October 2005 Earthquake, when a whole generation of students was lost in the debris of collapsed schools, Gilani said. He said disasters, directly or indirectly, leave catastrophic impact on every one, but it is the poor who is hardest hit. He said it was imperative that institutional arrangements for disaster management are augmented at the grassroots level through involvement of communities in all disaster risk reduction initiatives. He said local communities being the first responders to disasters, need to be educated and trained in disaster management in order to increase their resilience. He expressed satisfaction that NDMA was implementing different initiatives as envisaged in the National Framework. He assured that the federal government was committed to facilitate implementation of national policies and strategies on disaster management at the national level, but the provincial governments are also required to make similar efforts in their areas. These institutions would be provided consistent support from the government, through provision of required resources for their capacity building, and for creating an enabling environment to function as per their mandate. The National Commission on Disaster Management, in its last meeting, has already taken several key decisions to strengthen the capacities of these institutions. I direct the NDMA to ensure implementation of these decisions within the defined timelines. The PM said while the government must take the lead role in disaster risk reduction, it should not be viewed as the sole responsibility of the government. Government cannot alone reduce the risk of disasters. Enhanced public-private partnership plays a key role in this direction. He said these partnerships help raise awareness and advocacy, increase social investment and philanthropic activities, contribute in sustainable economic growth and income generation, as well as promote capacity building and scientific research. Gilani said the media can also play an important role in disaster risk reduction and a well informed media can become an effective tool of educating the masses and raising public awareness towards risk reduction and disaster preparedness measures. Chairman NDMA Lt Gen (r) Farooq Ahmed Khan said the Authority was making positive contribution in reducing the risks of disasters. He said the effects of disasters could be reduced by doing effective planning in advance and preparing the people to handle the difficult situations. Federal Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan and senior NWFP minister Bashir Bilour were also present.