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AJK Assembly demands international tourism in liberated territory

S. A Haidri;

Muzaffarabad: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) assembly session was chaired by Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir here on Wednesday. Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Chaudhary Javed Akhtar presented six drafts of legislation in Assembly.

The drafts presented were “The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Local Government (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018”, “The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Press Foundation (Amendment) Act 2017”, “The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Ehtesab Bureau (Fifth Amendment) Act, 2017”, “The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018”, “The Endowment Fund for Martyrs/Shuhada-e-Jammu and Kashmir and the Victims of Indian Atrocities in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir Act, 2018”, and “The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Board of Investment Act, 2018”.

Senior Minister Chaudhary Tariq Farooq, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affaors Chaudhary Javed Akhtar, Minister for Electricity Raja Nisar Ahmed Khan, Minister for Food Syed Shaukat Ali Shah, Minister State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), Minister for Planning and Development Col(R) Waqar Noor, Members Legisaltive Assembly (MLA) Raja Siddique, Ch. Shehzad Mehmood, Dr. Mustafa Bashir presented resolutions against Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir besides Line of Control and demanded international human rights organizations to take stern notice on deteriorating human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.

Member Assembly Chaudhary Ismail walked out in protest from the session due to improper seating arrangements. Keeping in view the walk out of MLA, AJK government recently increased their cabinet members and 8 new MLAs have been counted in AJK cabinet, after that it was the first session with new seating arrangements for Ministers and MLAs.

MLA Peer Syed Ali Raza Bukhari presented a resolution stated, “Azad Kashmir is a small stretch of land with limited economic resources. Agriculture is limited, business is small, and the terrain is difficult for the people to utilize for economic development. Therefore, natural opportunities of generating a financial income for the Area needs to be explored and attempted.”

Resolution further stated, “Besides water resources management, Tourism is another venue which can greatly aid and help to uplift and revive the area and lives of the people. Nevertheless, this sector is ignored and continues to suffer”

“Adding more to injury, Foreign Tourism is prohibited in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. As a MLA, deem it appropriate to reconsider the entry of Foreign Visitors and Tourists in AJK.”

Resolution mentioned that lots of bureaucratic hurdles and barriers are prevalent in the present Tourism Policy, which includes the required approval of the Ministry of Interior Government of Pakistan. There are many lovely places which, if publicized and marketed in the best manner, can attract a lot of both national and international Tourism. “Therefore, I float notion for the permission of free international tourism to AJK without any unnecessary restriction or interference.” Ali Raza added.

Later, Speaker adjourned the session sine die.

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