The Azad Jammu & Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AJKCCI) demanded of the government of Pakistan to immediately withdraw the recent decision about the closure of National Bank of Pakistan Regional Office in Mirpur in view of the exceptional importance of this district being the only and premier business and trade hub of the state.

Talking to newsmen here, AJKCCI President Ch Javed Iqbal appealed to Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif besides the higher NBP authorities to reconsider the decision and keep the status of Mirpur AJK Region for the National Bank of Pakistan’s Regional Office intact in the larger interest of the speedy economic progress and prosperity of AJK emerging from this only main industrial district.

He said that it had came into the notice of the chamber that Mirpur AJK Regional office of NBP was being closed and being merged into Muzzafarabad Regional office of the bank.

Iqbal pointed out that Mirpur was the Divisional Headquarters and consisted of three richest districts of AJK, Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimber with covered area of2,500 square mile.

He said Mirpur was the only business/industrial hub in AJK.

He underlined that a very reasonable quantum of population was residing abroad, especially in UK (more than 800,000 people). He said that the major market share of deposits / home remittances in Pakistan economy was being contributed from Mirpur (AJK) region.

The AJKCCI President pointed out that many industries were running businesses in the district and there was no industrial setup in AJK except this Mirpur region. He said that huge amount of revenue was being contributed to national exchequer from this city.

Javed Iqbal pointed out that it would be quite difficult to manage Mirpur from Muzaffarabad due to geographical position i.e. extreme north and extreme south and huge scattered network of 92 branches.

The AJKCCI President said that all other commercial banks were maintaining their regional offices at Mirpur. “Keeping in view the above mentioned facts we do hope strongly that the management shall maintain the status of Mirpur Region”, Iqbal added.