MIRPUR (AJK) - AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said that reforming the interim constitution of Azad Jammu & Kashmir is the top priority of his government.

He said that the plan would ensure due empowerment of the AJK government in letter and spirit in all sectors especially to strengthen the Kashmir freedom struggle, speedy progress through self-reliance and address of local issues in minimum possible time.

He was addressing a news conference at the PWD Rest House in presence of his cabinet colleagues including Minister for MDA Sports and Culture M Saeed, Senior Minister Tariq Farooq, MLA Rukhsar Ahmed and his local party colleagues.

The PM continued that introduction of much-awaited constitutional amendments in the Act 1974 will lead to  the major reform. “The Act 1974 stabbed the due rights of the people of AJK who were denied their legitimate rights through the interim constitution,” the AJK prime minister observed.

To a question, he said that the AJK government and Pakistani governments were on the same page regarding the introduction of upcoming constitutional reforms in AJK. He disclosed that a constitutional reforms committee headed by a federal minister has been constituted to bring about the much-needed amendments in Act 1974. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was also fully agreed to bring about amendments in AJK’s constitution.

Raja said that the proposed constitutional amendments would strengthen the deep rooted bondages and relationship of the people of Jammu & Kashmir with Pakistan, the ultimate destination of the people of the State through more cohesion and solidarity. The media had invited the attention of the much-awaited amendments in the interim constitution of AJK - Act 1974 - which were shelved in the former AJK Legislative Assembly of AJK during the PPP-led coalition government in the State despite the emergence of a parliamentary committee because of lack of its interest.

He underlined other priorities of his government to bring AJK good governance, speedy progress, alleviation of poverty and unemployment. He said that through the proposed broad-based youth employment policy, educated youth will be provided with jobs on merit in hydropower, tourism and industrial sectors since conducive environment was made available in AJK through the availability of huge natural resources in these fields.

He said that AJK is blessed with one of eight mega industrial zones being established under the CPEC, the gigantic project of socio economic progress and prosperity in Pakistan. He said that the construction of grand dual carriageway on Mansehra-Muzaffarabad-Bhibher-Mirpur-Mangla route under the CPEC will open new avenues of speedy economic progress and prosperity in the liberated territory.

Farooq Haider disclosed that Nawaz Sharif had agreed to the recent proposals tabled by the AJK government, during his visit to AJK  about the grant of due rights to AJK including the due royalty of Mangla Dam and the upcoming 969 megawatt Neelam Jhelum Hydel Power project located in Mirpur and Muzaffarabad districts respectively.

He unveiled the proposed tourism uplift plan in AJK, and said that Mirpur will soon be blessed with a grand network of roads especially the Coast lines to be constructed on the periphery of picturesque Mangla lake. He revealed that the proposed coast line along Mangla reservoir will attract local and foreign tourists generating the per annum income of at least Rs30 billion.

“The city will release gold after the execution of the projects of mass public welfare because of the peaceful environment and cultured stature of the people of the district,” Haider said. He said that Board of Investment (BOI) was also being established in AJK in order to attract maximum investments in tourism and industrial sector in the State where mega industrial estates were also available in twin districts of Mirpur and Bhimbher.

The AJK prime minister said that in order to meet the long standing demand by the Mirpur population, gas will soon be supplied in rest parts of Mirpur city in the near future. He said that initial required staff has reached Mirpur for the establishment of a  full-fledged Mirpur regional office of SNGPL on the move of the AJK government for execution of second and last phase for the supply of natural gas to rest parts of the city, he added.

He lambasted the outgoing PPP government in AJK for pushing AJK to the verge of massive destruction through entire era of bad governance, corruption, malpractices and irregularities in all state-run institutions mere for the accomplishment of their vested interests. He said that those belonging to “Anjuman e Ghulamanan - Frayel Talpur” and involved in corruption during their era in power in AJK, will be brought to justice through indiscriminate accountability.

He said that MDA would soon be scanned through its massive restructuring and reforms to ensure the restoration of the institution to make it objective and vibrant through removal of corruption from its roots. Haider declared that the corrupt politicians involved in ‘MDA-sponsored Jinnah Town’ scam will also be penalised.