Punjab opens kitty for Kashmiri refugees’ uplift

MIRPUR (AJK) –  The Punjab government on Friday announced a grant of Rs10 million for each member of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly to ensure the uplift of Kashmiri refugees settled in Punjab province.

The AJK government officially disclosed that Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced the grant during a meeting held to discuss the issues of refugees of Jammu and Kashmir settled in different areas of Punjab province. The meeting was held under the CM’s chairmanship. Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider Khan and his cabinet colleagues including ministers Syed Shaukat Shah, Nasir Hussain Dar, Chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC) AJK Chaudhry Muhammad Ishaq, including MLAs from refugee constituencies Raja Siddique, Mian Yasir Rasheed and other pertinent officers were present.

The Punjab chief minister on the occasion directed his administration to submit a report by setting up a plan for migrants settled in Punjab and address their problems before long and design constructive measures to fulfill their needs on immediate basis. He also directed Azad Kashmir and Punjab authorities to submit a report on the measures taken to address the migrants in the next meeting.

During the meeting, Shehbaz Sharif said that he would soon visit Azad Kashmir on the invitation of Prime Minister Azad Muhammad Raja Farooq Haider Khan. He said, “Kashmiris have a historic relationship with the people of Pakistan, they always showed love, sincerity; Kashmir is part of our body and soul.” He said that the people of Pakistan would continue to pursue their political, diplomatic and moral support of the just struggle of Kashmiris’ for freedom.

Praising the endeavours of the AJK prime minister for the state, Shahbaz said, “We are very glad that the people of Azad Kashmir have got PM like Raja Farooq Haider Khan. The government of AJK is setting examples, and we hope that the state government will become a testament of development and prosperity as Punjab government is fully co-operating with AJK.” Punjab Chief Minister Punjab reiterated that issues related to Kashmiri migrants in Punjab will be resolved on priority basis.

“The Punjab government will provide Rs10 million development funds to the migrant MLAs of the Azad Kashmir besides utilizing all the resources to solve the problems of AJK refugees,” he added. He stated that Azad Kashmir was following the model of Punjab regarding development, especially this province had made progress rapidly during the past four years. “The developed countries are giving examples of the rapid growth of Punjab,” PM AJK maintained.

He thanked the Punjab chief minister for providing amount of Rs2 billion for the masses of AJK, out of which a Rs750 million was allocated for interest-free loans and Rs750 million for higher education benefits.

He expressed that a large number of people from AJK were settled in Punjab as they consider Punjab as their second home. “Kashmiri have been serving in different areas including business here,” the PM AJK stated.

He uttered that the decision of nomination of Shehbaz Sharif as candidate for the post of Prime Minister of Pakistan truly enlightened the vision of Nawaz Sharif. “This decision of Nawaz Sharif will lead the country to development, Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif is talented and active personality who worked day and night for the development of Punjab province. The PML-N will succeed in 2018 general elections with massive majority and with the support the blessings of the Allah Almighty, he said. Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif will be the next Prime Minister of Pakistan,” the PM AJK hoped.

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