AJK PM assures all out support to media industry

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Islamabad: (Parliament Times) Prime Minister Azad Kashmir said that the government will utilize all possible resources to resolve the problems faced by media industry of Azad Kashmir

PM Raja Farooq Haider Khan expressed these views while speaking at a dinner party hosted in his honour by AJK newspaper owners based in Rawalpindi/Islamabad. Secretary-General Ms. Midat Shahzad and Director General Information, Raja Azhar Iqbal were present on the occasion. Syed Akram Shah Chairman Kashmir link, President All Kashmir Newspaper society(AKNS) , Amir Mehboob, Sardar Zahid Tabasim , Amjad Chaudhary, Chaudhary Banaras, Sardar Abdul Majeed, Sajjad Shah, Javed Iqbal Chaudhary, Nisar Kayani and others were present.

Speaking on the occasion Prime Minister Azad Kashmir said on May 03, a high level meeting will be held to discuss the problems faced by state-owned newspaper organizations. He said that amendments will be made in PEPRA rules and transparency will be ensured.

Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Raja Mohammad Farooq Haider Khan said that the PML-N government has doubled the development budget for Azad Kashmir besides getting an increase of nearly 40% share in federal taxes, which was expected to make additional income of more than 10 billion rupees.

“Empowering the state government through historic amendments in the interim constitution of Azad Kashmir, the government for the first time has ensured the appointment of teachers on merit and enhancement of their academic qualifications”, the premier said adding that the AJK Public Service Commission has been made a full-fledged and independent entity free from political influence.

He said that the daughter of one of the Members of the Public Service Commission, who was dropped out of the list because of the shortage of just half of the number, reflects the transparency of public service commission.

After the withdrawal of powers from the Council, the AJK PM said that surplus tax of 1 billion rupees has been collected as compared to annual tax collection target in AJK, while in Pakistan it declined. He stated that the number of judges in the High Court have also been increased and likewise the Family Courts were completed.

Prime Minister Azad Kashmir said that the government will utilize all the resources to resolve the problems faced by state newspapers of Azad Kashmir. With immediate payment of outstanding, he said, the government will make substantial increase in the budget for the newspapers. He was of the view that the incumbent government had achieved some historic milestones in the recent years but due to some restraints the government could not run a proper advertising campaign in this regard.

Urging the newspapers to promote standard and responsible journalism he said that the editors’ role was unfortunately plummeting day by day which needs to be restored. Regarding Pakistan’s related issues, he said the AJK government will play its full role. He said that the government will play its due role regarding the Freedom struggle of Kashmir and to ensure good governance in the state. He said that media has the responsibility to identify the errors wherever they occurred. “Unfortunately, there is a lot of administrative expenses in Azad Kashmir, which will gradually decrease but a huge chunk of budget is being used to pay salaries and pensions”, the PM said.

Prime Minister Azad Kashmir said that in order to postpone the discussion in the Human Rights Committee within the European Parliament, Modi called on the European Union President to hold debate after the Indian elections but he refused. In order to apprise the world of the prevailing situation in Indian held Kashmir he said that there was a dire need that people coming from different school of thoughts should work together.

Raja Mohammad Farooq Haider Khan said that former Prime Minister Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has a great attachment and affinity with Kashmir and Kashmiris. “He (Nawaz) took keen interest and practical measures to solve our long-term problems”, he maintained.