MIRPUR (AJK) - Mirpur will be air linked with rest of the world in the near future as a result of the construction of an international airport in the ancestral city of millions of Kashmiri expatriates soon.

This was disclosed by AJK Prime Minister Ch Abdul Majeed while addressing a news conference here at the PWD Rest House here on Tuesday.

“Suitable site for the construction of Mirpur International Airport has been selected and PC-1 of the gigantic project has been sent by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to the government of Pakistan for formal approval to kick off the construction work on the project”, the AJK Prime Minister said.

He continued that in response to the long-cherished demand of the city of millions of Kashmiri expatriates, preliminary work had been kicked off for linking Mirpur by air with rest of the world in the near future.

The AJK PM said, “under the spirit of the announcement in Kashmiri expatriates’ congregation in UK’s Bradford city by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, President Asif Ali Zardari had ordered the construction of a full-fledged international airport in Mirpur to facilitate millions of Kashmiri expatriates hailing from Mirpur division through direct air-traveling to and from their ancestral town”. Former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani had formally announced the construction of international airport in Mirpur during his visit to the city a few months ago.

The survey team comprising senior experts representing various sections of the CAA had recently visited various sites including Bhalwhara, Mangla, Jatlan and Kalri in the outskirt of Mirpur city to assess requisite site for the consecution of proposed Mirpur international airport project, official sources later told this scribe here Thursday evening.

The AJK PM said that the airport would benefit at least 3 million overseas Kashmiris, belonging to Mirpur division. “It will also be a useful project vis-à-vis heavy transportation of the air-cargo to and from Mirpur for various global destinations by the local expatriates”, he said.

Mirpur international airport will not only benefit local population including millions of Kashmiri expatriates with non-stop traveling facilities but would also open air ways for over 8 million population of other parts of AJK and adjoining areas of Pakistan including Chakwal, Sohawa, Jhelum, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Saria alamgir, Kharian and Lalamusa as well as Kotli, Bhimbher, Rawalakot, Sudhanoti, to travel for abroad from this model city of AJK.

“The upcoming Mirpur International Airport would not only benefit Pakistan and AJK with the annual income of billions of rupees besides opening massive employment opportunities for educated youth in AJK”, the survey team was informed. Ch Majeed expressed satisfaction over the availability of required suitable site for the construction of the airport and resolved to move ahead for execution of the construction work on the project by the end of this year.

He also claimed that Mirpur International Airport would be completed within next couple of years.