MIRPUR (AJK) - A high-level meeting of AJK government was held to mull over the matter of environmental pollution arising out of Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project.

The meeting held on Monday was chaired by AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan and attended among others by Secretary Ministry of Kashmir Affairs, AJK Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary Development, Secretary Forests, Secretary Housing and Physical Planning, Secretary Local Government and Director General Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of AJK and other senior officers of the related state functionaries.

The meeting decided that Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and AJK government would collaborate to construct lakes, and ensure implementation of Sewerage Water Plant as early as possible to avoid the issues of environmental pollution in Muzaffarabad.

Addressing the meeting, Raja Farooq Haider said that Kuhala hydropower project should be set up on the running water instead of a tunnel to ensure that Jhelum Valley does not face any environmental hazards. He said his government was well aware of the environmental issues in Muzaffarabad due to Neelum-Jhelum project and reservations of the people about it. He said that the problem would be addressed in consultation with all the concerned departments. He said government would take all possible steps in collaboration with federal government to resolve the problems.

He said that South Asia could be made axis of progress and prosperity if Kashmir issue was resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions. He said Indian Army Chief tried to destabilise the region through his irresponsible and provocative statement. India squandered the opportunity of peace by rejecting the offer of Pakistani Prime Minister for a dialogue, he added. He observed that Indian repressions and state terrorism against people of Jammu and Kashmir had been intensified for the past few weeks. Even UN Commission for Human Rights also pointed out the massive human rights abuses by Indian forces in IHK, he remarked.