Altaf Hamid Rao
MIRPUR (AJK): AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan has said that there were more avenues to expand the benefits of the recently-made 13th amendment in Act-1974 the interim constitution of Azad Jammu Kashmir, for due empowerment of Azad government of the State of Jammu & Kashmir and the AJK Legislative Assembly.
“There are possibilities to bring about more improvement in the 13th amendment – but there were no chances to reverse the recently made much-needed amendment”, the AJK Prime Minister asserted in an exclusive interview to this Correspondent Altaf Hamid Rao at Jammu Kashmir House on Saturday.
“The passage of the historic constitutional reform package through the 13th Amendment will provide legislative, administrative and financial powers to Azad Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir besides leading to open new vistas of a new phase of speedy progress and prosperity of the AJK territory”, Farooq Haider said.
Ehsan Khalid Kiyani, Principal Secretary to AJK Prime Minister and Raja Muhammad Waseem Khan, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister were also present on this occasion.
The seasoned Kashmiri journalist and analyst felicitated the AJK Prime Minister on the successful passage of 13th amendment relating to the AJK Council Reforms.
The AJK Prime Minister underlined, on this occasion, the administrative measures being exercised by the government as a result of the 13th amendment to help streamline governance and promote better service delivery to the people of AJK. He said that the entire AJK government administrative machinery would be accelerated towards effective and due proper utilization of additional financial resources for the speedy progress and socio economic progress and prosperity of the state.
Describing the 13th AJK Constitutional Amendment as overall peoples-friendly, Raja Farooq Haider Khan further said that Azad Jammu Kashmir government and the State Legislative Assembly have become more powerful after the landing of the much-awaited amendment in formerly Act – 1974 – now the interim constitution of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, he added.
Commenting on over the much-popular 13th Amendment in the Interim Constitution of Azad Jammu Kashmir, Farooq Haider pointed out that several of the articles incorporated in the 13th amendment are based on the recommendations and proposals of the committee constituted by the previous Azad Jammu Kashmir Legislative Assembly. “AJK would have more powerful government as a result of the 13th amendment – which is appreciable as a whole”, he said.
Highlighting the priorities of his government for the speedy uplift of the state with prime focus to ameliorate the life style of the common man in AJK, the Prime Minister said that amongst other development initiatives it is also imperative to promote tourism and industrial development with prime focus to create job opportunities for educated and skilled youth in order to overcome the unemployment in AJK, which, he added, is the top priority of his incumbent popularly-elected AJK government.
Farooq Haider stated that after the arrival of 13th constitutional amendment only AJK government was authorized to realize all kind of public levies including the income tax in AJK state and not the FBR.
Farooq Haider said that the AJK government is determined to take concrete steps to modernize tourism and turn it into a formal industry – since AJK is enriched with huge natural potential of tourism and hydro power generation in the scenic region. He added that under the integrated tourism uplift plan in the state, the government will focus to establish latest accommodations with required infrastructural facilities, harmonious to the need of the modern age including the construction of theme parks, adventure parks and motels to attract maximum of tourists in the picturesque region.