MIRPUR (AJK)

The echoes of the announcement by India to construct a wall on the Line of Control were sounded in Azad Jammu & Kashmir with strong protest and resentment by the people representing all segments of the society.

The intelligence and political pundits in AJK have described the reported declaration about the construction of a wall on the LoC in Indian-held Jammu & Kashmir facing AJK and Pakistan as uncalled for, unwarranted, unjustified and a blatant violation of the international norms and commitments. They said that future of the Jammu & Kashmir is linked with the legitimate global commitment about grant of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu & Kashmir state.

In Muzaffarabad, a large number of people belonging to diverse segments held a protest rally against the announced. The rally organised by Jammu & Kashmir Refugees was attended by the people from all classes, to register extreme resentment against the announcement. The rally marched through major streets and later converged into the protest congregation at old Civil Secretariat.

The rally was addressed by J & K refugee leaders Mushtaq Islam, Aziz Ghazie, Sadeeq Chaudhry, PPP AJK stalwart and the party’s spokesman Shoukat Javed Mir, Raja Saad Iqbal, Dr Manzur Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami, Raja Faukh Mumtaz, Tahir Ejaz and Abdul Rasheed of PML-N’s AJK chapter.

The speakers warned New Delhi to desist from exercising any such move detrimental to the centuries-old entity of the internationally acknowledged disputed Himalayan State of Jammu & Kashmir. They warned that since the people of Jammu & Kashmir do not believe in the division of the disputed stated of Jammu & Kashmir, any Indian move to construct a wall on the LoC will be strongly resisted and thwarted with full figure.

They recalled that since the state was a disputed territory and according to the UN resolutions, the people of the state will yet have to decide about their fate. “The announcement by India, as reported by a section of the Indian press the other day, is the result of stubborn and unrealistic policies of New Delhi, which she was trying to impose on one pretext or the other primarily to skip the global norms and increased pressure for early and peaceful resolution of Kashmir problem through meaningful talks among India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu & Kashmir,” speakers said.

They also called upon the international community especially the United Nations Organisation to take immediate notice of the Indian version about the construction of wall by initiating a stringent action against the government.

AJK strives for exploiting vast power generation potential: The AJK government is contemplating evolution of an integrated reforms package for the development of water resources and subsequent electricity generation to utilise the rich proven potential across the state, official sources said.

The sources told here Monday that all possible resource of water would be utilized to generate hydel power to meet the local needs of electricity to diversify agriculture sector.

“An investment of Rs4 billion have already been made available to cultivate tea in AJK”, the sources revealed, adding that Rs130 billion were to be spent on hydropower generation. With this spending additional 1,000 megawatts of hydel power could be generated in the liberated area to meet the future needs of power, the sources pointed out. According to a survey conducted by this scribe, more than 15,000 megawatts of Hydro power can be produced if the immense water resources of AJK are fully utilized. It may be added that construction work on several of the hydro power projects have been launched so far in various parts of the state in the public as well as private sectors in the wake of proven potential of generation of over 8,100 MW in the liberated territory. The state government intends to put a national focus on this need, the sources said. The AJK has a great potential of water resources for the production of electricity in line with the needs of the local area besides providing required electricity to adjoining regions of Pakistan falling in Punjab andKPK provinces.

The AJK government has already invited private and public sector organisations and investors to rush in for investment since profits and produce could be lucrative, the sources said.

The AJK government already has decided principally to grant permission to the private sector for launching hydropower projects up to 100 megawatts. There can a large chain of projects of this capacity in AJK. A generous approach needs to be made to end the future electricity scarcity in the country, the sources revealed.