US envoy meets with AJK PM Wide-ranging discussion held on issue of Kashmir


American Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome and Prime Minister Azad Kashmir Sardar Tanvir Ilayas Khan on Tuesday held a detailed meeting with a wide-ranging agenda here on Tuesday.

During the meeting, which took place at AJK Premier’s residence in Rawalakot, wide-ranging discussions were held on the issue of Kashmir as well as the development of the liberated territory.

On this occasion, a proposal to the American ambassador was presented regarding the establishment of a special economic zone, dry port, investment in tourism and the hydel sector in Azad Kashmir.

The proposal stated that there was a large scope of human resources in Azad Kashmir, which can be utilized to provide outsource services, consultancy and IT services. The proposal further mentioned the role of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and Arts and Crafts in improving the region’s economy.

The ambassador was told that SMEs account for the majority of business around the world. “Azad Kashmir has a huge scope within this sector (SMEs), which if implemented can be very effective for increasing the GDP of the state”, the proposal said.

Referring to the region’s highest literacy rate the proposal presented to the ambassador Blome stressed the need for starting academic exchange programs between AJK and American universities under which students after studying two years in the AJK universities can get a chance to study in the US for a year and then complete the final year or last semester in their respective institutions.-INP

In the proposal, the American ambassador was also informed about the scope of tourism in Azad Kashmir.

The proposal also sought cooperation in the fields of agriculture, energy, power generation. Ambassador Bloom was assured that the government of Azad Kashmir would provide full and assistance to investors.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir drew the attention of the American ambassador towards the worsening situation in the Indian occupied Kashmir and said that the US should play its much-needed role to resolve the lingering conflict, which he said has been the main cause and consequence of rights violations in the region.

The PM also expressed his gratitude to the US government for its aid and assis-tance it had provided in relief and rehabilitation of quake victims in 2005.

The government of Azad Kashmir also appealed for an increase in the USAID program and assistance to the recent flood victims, protection of the archeological sites in Azad Kashmir and the damage caused by climate change.Parliamentary Secretary Ms. Taqdees Gilani, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan and Principal Secretary Ehsan Khalid Kayani were also present on the occa-sion.


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