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Epaper 24-11-2022

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Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Khalid Khurshid visit to Muzaffarabad

Muzaffarabad: Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan and Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Barrister Khalid Khurshid have said that the federal government has decided to wall the governments of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir due to political opposition.

Funds were cut and now our funds are withheld. Prime Minister of Pakistan should show political maturity, we are the basic unit of Pakistan, we should not be put against the wall. Currently, the funds of other provinces have been increased by 20 to 25%, but the funds of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan have been cut.

When Imran Khan was the Prime Minister of Pakistan, he not only provided the required funds to the Muslim League (N) government in Azad Kashmir, but also provided significant additional funds. 75 years of distance between Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan will end. The construction of Shunter Tunnel will reduce the land distance between the two regions. We have spiritual ties with the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.

We will build the Gilgit-Baltistan House in Muzaffarabad and the Kashmir House in Gilgit to strengthen our relations. Quaid-e-Pakistan Chairman Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan will be among us in Muzaffarabad within two weeks and will give him a historic welcome in Muzaffarabad.

The steps taken to establish a working relationship between the governments of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir will prove to be a milestone in the strengthening of the Kingdom of God-ad-Pakistan and its journey forward.

The federal government’s move to cut the budget of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan has hurt the hearts of the people here and the ongoing development process here has been badly affected. He expressed these views while addressing a press conference at the Prime Minister’s House here yesterday. Ministers, advisers, parliamentary secretary and members of assembly of Azad Kashmir were also present on this occasion.

Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan said that the security and survival of Pakistan is our top priority, whoever looks at Pakistan with an evil eye, we know how to remove his eye. Pakistan is the center of hope not only for Kashmiris but also for the oppressed nations of the whole world. Biased treatment of Muslims is being done all over the world which is cause for concern.

Chairman Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan presented the issue of Kashmir in a lively manner at the United Nations, America and other forums. Leader of Pakistan Imran Khan convinced the world that terrorism should not be linked with Islam and Muslims, terrorists have no religion. Imran Khan sent a message to the world for insulting the honor of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir said that the decisions of the world in the coming times will not be made without the participation of Pakistan. Our brothers of Gilgit-Baltistan are currently more affected by the ravages of floods. Our government took part in helping flood victims in Balochistan. The people sitting in the federation should be aware of the problems of Azad Kashmir. The attitude of the Federation hurts the sentiments of the people of Azad Kashmir. I want to tell the Prime Minister of Pakistan that the country is above political ideologies. No region is walled off because of political views.

The federal government has reached the extreme of indifference. We have given pension, disparity allowance and increment to the employees from our own resources, the federal government has not provided these funds either. The Prime Minister said that we got this country with great sacrifices, we are the basic unit of Pakistan. It is the responsibility of the Federation to solve our problems. For us, the package of 500 billion rupees announced by the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan for Azad Kashmir has also been stopped by the current government. How will we build and develop the state in the development budget of 26 billion? He said that these funds are for the people and they should get them, there is a severe lack of resources in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan is the Prime Minister of the whole country, he should solve all their problems. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan provided abundant funds to the government here even when the PML-N was in power in Azad Kashmir. The media is requested to highlight these issues. In response to a question, the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir said that Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan can sign joint agreements for climate change, but the resources have to be provided by the federation. Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan should be given attention to protect Pakistan from flood disasters. In response to another question, he said that joint protest in front of the Parliament House is our right, but we want to avoid having to go there.

The federal government must pay serious attention to this. In response to another question, the Prime Minister said that the distance between Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan will be reduced to three and a half hours from Shunter Tunnel. Plans to start air service in both regions are also under consideration in the future. With these measures, the people of both regions will be closer to each other. Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Barrister Khalid Khurshid has said that the relationship between Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir that should have been formed in the last 75 years has been lacking, but now we will create such a working relationship that the relations between the people of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan will be better and May our love grow.

With the improvement of land routes through the Shunter Tunnel project, our connectivity will be even deeper. Azad Kashmir is not my second home but my first home and I also have a spiritual relationship with this land.

The way the federal government is treating us is very regrettable. Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir do not have constitutional protection and we are bound to implement the UN resolutions. Suppression of such areas by the federal government is unfortunate. In the past, every federal government has always taken care of these regions. Fiscal conditions have been dire before but the current government is the first government that has completely walloped our governments.

The Chief Minister said that we have 47 billion non-development and 12 billion development budget, which is a small amount for the federal government. We are not even part of NFC. We are making sacrifices for our Kashmiri brothers. It is the responsibility of the Federation to take care of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The budget of all the provinces has increased by 20 to 25 percent, but the budget of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan has been reduced. He said that the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan said that the federal government has come under a special agenda. We are currently being discriminated against by the federal government. The nation has now got a great leader after Quaid-e-Azam in the form of Imran Khan. In the eyes of the people, Imran Khan has created a hope that the purpose for which this country was created is going to be fulfilled. The coming time will be the hour of decision.

Prime Minister Azad Kashmir should play a decisive role, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are with him, now Kashmir will be decided soon. The coming days will be great for Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir relations, we will first restore our land routes. Shunter Tunnel will be a short route between Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Prime Minister Azad Kashmir come to Gilgit-Baltistan and like the place to build Kashmir House, we will build Gilgit-Baltistan House on the land we get in Muzaffarabad.

He said that the people and governments of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir have to work together for the freedom of Occupied Kashmir. We have to raise the issue of Kashmir ourselves and raise our voices together. The Chief Minister said that India’s atrocities in Occupied Kashmir must be highlighted. International organizations and NGOs also do not work in our regions due to special status.

We have to talk to the United Nations that international organizations should support us financially as we are affected by climate change. In the coming days you will see joint efforts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir governments for the welfare of the people. In response to a question, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan said that instead of giving budget, the federal government is plotting to topple our governments. The logic is also being presented that these assemblies should be dissolved so that elections can be held simultaneously in the Federation and here.

In response to another question, he said that efforts are being made to weaken the Dashri in Gilgit-Baltistan. In response to another question, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan said that we have passed a resolution from the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly that we want the constitutional right to stand on Pakistan’s Kashmir in the United Nations and without affecting the Kashmir issue.

The reason is that if Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan had constitutional rights today, our budget would not have been cut like this. That is why we are not even a part of the NFC Award. If one of us goes to the National Assembly and becomes the Foreign Minister, he will be able to fight the case of Kashmir in a better way. Kashmir was, is and will remain a part of Pakistan. Assuring full support to brothers fighting for freedom movement in Occupied Kashmir.

Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Barrister Khalid Khurshid visited PID Complex Muzaffarabad, upon arrival at PID Complex, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Azad Kashmir for Information, Small Industries and Environment Chaudhry Muhammad Rafiq Nair. Secretary Information and Information Technology Ms. Mudhat Shehzad, Director General Information Raja Azhar Iqbal and officers of the department welcomed Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan. Azad Kashmir Education Minister Dewan Ali Khan Chaghtai, Azad Kashmir Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information Technology Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal, and others were also present on the occasion.

Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan inspected various departments of Nizamat High Public Relations. Secretary Information and Director General Information briefed them about Digital and Social Media, Advertising Department, Electronic and Print Media, Declaration and Monitoring Sections, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir Press Foundation. Addressing the officers of the department after the briefing, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Barrister Khalid Khurshid said that the battlefields have changed now and social media is the biggest battlefield at the moment.

In the front of the media, the Information Department of Azad Kashmir is currently playing a key role, which is an example for us. India tries to promote its own narrative through social media, through social media we have to show the world that on the one hand media in a free region is completely free and tourists from abroad come here and see the beauty of this region.

There is freedom, while on the other hand, India has imposed the worst restrictions in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and is oppressing Kashmiris. He said that the information sector has developed very rapidly in Azad Kashmir. Gilgit-Baltistan Information Department and Azad Kashmir Information Department will work together in future.

In this regard, a joint working team will be formed to maintain a permanent working relationship. While appreciating the services of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Press Foundation, he said that he will take the assistance of Azad Kashmir Press Foundation to provide such facilities to the journalists of Gilgit-Baltistan and soon the GB team will visit Azad Kashmir in this regard.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister Azad Kashmir for Information Chaudhry Muhammad Rafiq Nayar thanked Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan for his visit to PID Complex. On this occasion, Directors of Information Raja Amjad Hussain Minhas and Muhammad Bashir Mirza, Information Officers Maqsood Ahmed, Raja Muhammad Sohail Khan, Qaraatul Ain Shabir, Syed Asif Hussain Naqvi, Raja Abdul Basit Khan, Sardar Shamim Anjum, Muhammad Khurshid Chaudhry and others were also present.

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