The Azad Kashmir government on Friday announced regularisation of the services of all the contractual employees of its different departments, increase in elected representatives’ fund and appointment of two judges to the higher courts.
“Services of all those contractual employees serving in different departments of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government will be regularised,” announced AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed while addressing the budget session in the Legislative Assembly on Friday.
“Despite the financial crunch and economic challenges, we have given maximum relief to the people,” he added, mentioning the salient features of the budget for the financial year 2012-13.
AJK Finance Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Ashraf had presented Rs49.59 billion budget in the legislative assembly last Wednesday.
Majeed said that the education and health sectors have been given top priority. He said that uniformed curriculum will be introduced and another women university will be established in Muzzafarabad during the current fiscal year. For the development of the education sector, the government has allocated Rs887 million in the budget.
“Mangla dam raising issue has been resolved according to the wishes of the people, the main focus will be placed on road infrastructure along with other facilities,” he added. The opposition and all the legislators would be taken on board on the Neelum-Jehlum power project issue before finalising an agreement.
He further said that the funds of the Legislative Assembly members would be doubled from Rs5 million to Rs10 million.
About the shortage of judges in the higher courts, the premier said that two additional judges would be appointed in the AJK High Court, one each additional judge will be appointed in Patika and Mirpur respectively and a circuit bench will be set up in Bagh District.
He also announced allocation of Rs5 million for the Azad Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Majeed recalled the services of Kashmiri leaders including Sardar Ibrahim Khan, Sardar Abdul Qayyum, Sardar Fateh Muhammad Krelwi, Raja Haider Khan, K.H. Khursheed, Raja Mumtaz Hussain Rathor, and others for the Kashmir cause.
He also paid tribute to Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for giving a constitution to Pakistan and making it a nuclear power besides pleading the Kashmir cause on world forums. He said that Bhutto’s legacy was carried forth by Benazir Bhutto, who took up the Kashmir policy by getting Kashmiris a membership in the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. She also took measures for the AJK’s development.
Moreover, he condemned the rumors of making Kashmir a province of Pakistan and assured the leader of opposition that the mandate of opposition would be respected and their positive feedback would be incorporated. “Whatever the members of treasury benches would be given the same would be accorded to opposition members assembly and all members are equal and respectable for me,” he said. Moreover, he appreciated the cooperation of opposition and the leader of opposition saying that Raja Farooq Haidar Khan contributed positively in this budget for the people of Kashmir.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2012.
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