Pak PM reaffirms commitment to Kashmir cause

Pak PM reaffirms commitment to Kashmir cause

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Pervaiz Ashraf Tuesday congratulated the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council on the unanimous passage of budget 2012-2013.

He also congratulated the people of AJK for peacefully observing “Yum-e-Ishq-Rasool”. He said that President Asif Ali Zardari will raise the issue of the sacrilegious film at United Nations when he addresses the General Assembly. “Pakistan wants a passage of a suitable legislation which stipulates punishment for those who disrespects the person of the Prophet or religious leaders of other religions,” he added.

In response to a proposal that the AJK Council should meet more regularly, he announced that its next meeting would be held at Muzaffarabad.

He also agreed to a proposal that the representatives of Finance and Planning Departments should visit AJK for having a first hand knowledge of the situation. He appreciated the AJK Council for allocating development budget to all the members irrespective of political affiliation and expressed the hope that other governments in Pakistan would replicate this tradition. While debating over the budget of AJ&K council for the year 2012-13, the members of the council were apprised that total outlay of the budget was Rs9594.589 million which is 130% of the revised budget of 2011-12.

The meeting was informed that the council had allocated Rs1915.686 million for Annual Development Programme. This includes Rs1120.686 million for on going schemes.

The meeting was also informed that the development approach was based on consultation with the Council’s members and the government of AJ&K to ensure that development initiatives have popular support.

Council members requested government of Pakistan to sanction grant-in-aid, amounting to Rs1.3 billion to meet its budgetary deficit for year 2012-13. They thanked the government of Pakistan for political, moral and diplomatic support extended to the cause of Kashmir.

Earlier in his opening remarks while chairing 47th session (budget 2012-13) of AJK Council, the PM reiterated Pakistan’s principled stand on Jammu and Kashmir and reaffirmed the commitment to the just cause of Kashmir for the right of self-determination. “I would also like to reassure our Kashmiri brothers and sisters that government and people of Pakistan will continue to extend whole hearted moral, diplomatic and political support for Kashmir cause” he added.

“The people of the Occupied Kashmir who are engaged in a legitimate struggle continue to render great sacrifices for the Kashmir cause. Pakistan has called for an end to the human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir,” he maintained.

He said we believe that dialogue process between Pakistan and India are very important. It is important to sustain this process to make it result oriented.

He said that we have consistently maintained that Kashmiri people should be part of the dialogue of Jammu and Kashmir as they are the primary stakeholders. “Kashmiri people are looking up to the two countries to fulfil their obligations by allowing them to exercise their right to determine their future which could be done if both sides make a genuine effort to overcome the long legacy of hostility and distrust. We hope that the peace process would become result-oriented in addressing all outstanding issues, especially the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.’

[The News]

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