Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday announced appointment of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) nominee for a Senate seat from Punjab Aslam Gill as his ‘special assistant’ with the status of a federal minister.
While addressing a public gathering in Mirpur, the premier mentioned Gill’s defeat in the recent election for the upper house of parliament and announced his appointment as his adviser. Gilani said that some of PPP’s lawmakers had cheated Gill. “The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) knows how to honour its supporters. We’re investigating who betrayed the party,” he added.
In his other engagements during his second visit to the state in quick succession, Prime Minister Gilani unveiled plans of building an international airport in Mirpur city and laid the foundation stones of two mega projects in AJK – one a university, the other a bridge.
He announced that Mirpur would soon be air-linked with the rest of the world through the establishment of an international airport in the city. He revealed that the funds required for the construction of the proposed airport would be earmarked in the coming fiscal year’s national budget.
Pledging to extend full moral, political and diplomatic support to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), the prime minister said that Pakistan would continue to support Kashmiris in their struggle for the right to self-determination.
“Pakistan is taking keen interest for the speedy progress and prosperity in AJK,” he said.
Underlining the priorities of his government for the development of all sectors of the country, including AJK, Premier Gilani said that his party intended to resolve all problems, including load shedding in the region. He said that the Mangla dam project, which he had recently inaugurated, would help bring about an economic revolution in the country besides overcoming the issue of load-shedding in the country.
Meanwhile, AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed on Monday declared that Pakistan was the ultimate destination of the people of AJK.
“Kashmiris are firmly with Pakistan,” he said while addressing the public meeting. “Kashmiris are highly thankful of the 180 million people, the government of Pakistan and the political parties for their just and principled stance on the Kashmir issue.”
Majeed also extended his gratitude to the government of Pakistan for extending liberal financial assistance for the execution of two mega projects which, he added, will open new avenues of economic progress and prosperity for AJK.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2012.