Altaf Hamid Rao.
MIRPUR ,(Parliament Times) : Azad Jammu & Kashmir government Wednesday according formal approval, in principle, to Rs.3055.28 Million worth 05-year integrated Costed Implementation Plan (CIT) for welfare of AJK population with prime focus to ensure the state-friendly population growth in the State matching to the current required global standard, it was officially said.
Decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Task Force on Population held at the Prime Minister’s Office in the State’s metropolis on Wednesday with AJK Population Welfare, Information Technology & TEVTA Dr. Mustafa Bashir in the chair.
“The above Rs. 3055.280 million amount will be spent onon population welfare, management and stabilization as stipulated in Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting which had approved recommendations recently”, said Dr. Mustafa Bashir Abbasi the population welfare minister and Vice Chairman of the Task Force told our AJK’s Special Correspondent Altaf Hamid Rao in Mirpur late Wednesday. Wednesday. Elaborating the plan, the minister continued that the amount will be provided by Federal Government as AJK’s share as per amount identified by experts appointed by Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination, Govt of Pakistan.
Referring to the contents of the long-lasted meeting, Dr. Mustafa Bashir said that the Task Force also approved a committee for functional integration of Health and Population Welfare Departments. Govt. of AJK holds its first meeting of AJK Population Task Force which was presided over by Minister for Population as Vice Chairman.
“The meeting among others, was attended by Dr. Muhammad Najeeb Naqi Khan Minister for Health and Finance, Syed Iftikhar Ali Gilani, Minister for Elementary & Secondary Education, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary Development, Secretary Health, Secretary Finance and Secretary population Welfare Department. UNFPA (United Nations Populations Fund) senior level delegation headed by Ms. Li-na Mousa, Country Representative, represented in the meeting. While Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination, Govt of Pakistan, was represented by Dr. Shahid Hanif, Director General, Population Program Wing and Non-Governmental Organizations were represented by Dr. Fauzia Assad, Country Director, Jhpiego (Pakistan). The State Secretary for Population Welfare and Secretary of the AJK Population Task Force Raja Muhammad Razzaque, gave a comprehensive briefing to the forum on challenges entailed in rapid population growth in Pakistan / AJK and suggested various solution based approaches for population stabilisation in Pakistan / AJK.
Ms. Lina Mousa, UNFPA Country Representative while appreciating the AJK Government for prioritising and up-lifting the population sector and showing leadership by holding first meeting of Population Task Force, highlighted the global, national and regional challenges confronted due to rapid increase in population. She while focusing on right based family planning approach as part of our national narrative, underlined the significance of integration of population and health departments for ensuring result oriented service delivery in the area of family planning and reproductive health services. She while appreciating the political lea-dership and technical team of AJK for their keen interests in resolving the critical issues offered various technical supports for the population welfare department for better orientation and effective service delivery based on international best practices. Dr. Yilma Alazar, Senior Advisor on International Family Planning of UNFPA and Dr. Jamil Ahmed Ch. S/RH Specialist of UNFPA, also gave their inputs for clarifications. Similarly, Dr. Shahid Hanif, Director General Population Program Wing presented the policy vision of federal government on alarming population growth. Likewise, Dr. Fauzia Assad also presented her technical perspective and gave a roadmap for addressing the challenge of over population.
‘We express our sincere gratitude to all worthy Ministers, Chief Secretary and Secretary to the Governments for making their presence in this important meeting of population Task Force. Our special gratitude is due to Ms. Lina Mousa, UNFPA’s Country Representative and his team, Dr. Shahid Hanif, DG PPW, Dr. Fauzia Assad, Country Director, Jhpiego for especially coming to Mu-zaffarabad and presenting their expert and candid opinions, adding to our leanings for addressing critical Challenge, said Dr. Mustafa Bashir Abbasi in his concluding remarks. He assured the task force members that Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir will take all possible remedial measures to take lead in resolving this critical issue, he concluded.