MIRPUR (AJK) - US Ambassador in Pakistan Richard Olson assured the AJK government of propping up agriculture and education sectors in Azad Jammu and Kashmir through USAID.

The US envoy, currently on a visit to AJK, made the announcement while he was addressing a reception hosted by AJK Prime Minister Abdul Majeed at the latter’s house in Muzaffarabd.

The ambassador also pledged to persuade American investors to invest in hydel and tourism sectors. “Kashmir offers great scenic beauty and fascinates a lot. The people and the government of United States will continue their support for the prosperity and development of AJK particularly in promoting education, agriculture, tourism and hydel power generation,” he observed.

On the occasion, the AJK prime minister said that peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute can only guarantee durable peace in Asia and the people and the government of the state express gratitude to the United States for diplomatic support on Kashmir issue. He thanked the US government for their support in socio-economic sectors.

“We value and extol the efforts of the US government in relief operation after the earthquake in 2005 and other natural disasters as well as their diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir,” he added. The premier said that self-determination is the fundamental right of the Kashmiris for which they are continuing nonviolent struggle. “The United Nations, in its several resolutions, has acknowledged this basic right of Kashmiri people; India has utilised all its energies to suppress them through brutal state terrorism since last six decades. Now, the prime responsibility of international community is to force India to stop terrorism and give the Kashmiris their right to self-determination,” he demanded. AJK President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, AJK Legislative Assembly Speaker Sardar Ghulam Sadiq Khan and various ministers were present. Olson thanked the prime minister for warm reception and generous hospitality.

Earlier, the American ambassador called on the premier at Prime Minister Secretariat and exchanged affairs of mutual interests.