MIRPUR (AJK)-Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan said that the youth owed the responsibility to thwart conspiracies currently being hatched by enemies to keep Pakistan deprived of the dividends of development and prosperity.

Addressing teachers and students of Lawrence College in Murree, he said that China in Pakistan’s neighbourhood was going to emerge as the world’s second-biggest economic power; while on the other hand, India was preparing to compete with China. “Similarly, Iran and the Gulf States have full potential to move forward because of their oil resources.”

Sardar Masood Khan said that youth of the country consisted of 212 million individuals and were fully capable of turning Pakistan into an economic and military power. “Young students guarantee bright future of the country,” he said, adding that the youth would have to prepare themselves to cope with the challenges confronting Pakistan to turn it into a peaceful, developed and prosperous state.

He said that Almighty Allah had blessed Pakistan with abundant natural and human resources, and it was the responsibility of the new generation to ensure adequate use of these resources so as to make Pakistan into a stable and prosperous state.

“For this purpose, it is imperative to ensure that national security institutions are strong, we have cutting edge nuclear technology, law and order prevails in the country and our educational institutions prepare a generation who has leadership qualities in politics, economy and business,” he added.

Sardar Masood Khan said that side by side with curriculum activities, students needed to have full knowledge of national and global affairs.

He said: “We will have to pledge and set targets to completely eradicate poverty in the country, provide education and health facilities as per world standards by 2030. We will have to make country’s defence and security invincible, and endeavour to secure a place for it on the list of top ten economically prosperous countries by 2050.”

Responding to a volley of questions posed by students, Sardar Masood Khan said that Azad Kashmir was neither a province of Pakistan nor a sovereign state. The people of the area had liberated this territory form Dogra rulers, and had formed a government to take steps for the liberation of the part of Kashmir still under the occupation of India.

About Simla Agreement, he said that the accord did not prevent Pakistan from raising Kashmir issue at world forums. India had very sharply and fraudulently conveyed to the international community that Kashmir had become a bilateral issue after Simla Accord and that it could not be raised at any international forum. “This claim on the part of India is baseless and Kashmiri people do not accept it,” he added.

The AJK president said that India had never shown sincerity to come to the negotiation table during the last 71 years, and it had always used the dialogue process as a tool to perpetuate its illegal occupation of Kashmir.

He lamented that hatred was being systematically promoted against the Muslims in India under the official patronage, and the targets of this wave of hatred were the Muslims of India, people of Jammu and Kashmir, and the state of Pakistan.