President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan on Friday said that Kashmiri leaders, who went to New Delhi shook hands and exchanged pleasantries with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, have rubbed salt on the wounds of the Kashmiri nation.
“Narendra Modi's hands are stained with the blood of innocent people whether it was the carnage of innocent Muslims in Gujrat or state-sponsored tyranny in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)," he said while speaking at a launching ceremony of a research report on “Building Sustainable Tourism in AJK”.
The ceremony, organised by the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (UAJK) in collaboration with the Centre for Peace, Development, and Reforms (CPDR), was also addressed by Registrar of the UAJK Dr Ayesha Sohail, Secretary Tourism, Chaudhry Imtiaz Ahmed, author of the report Prof Dr Shaheen Akhtar, Executive Director CPDR, Irshad Mehmood, Prof Dr Rukhsana Khan, and others.
June 25; Muzaffarabad: Listening to the National Anthem of Pakistan and State Anthem of Azad Jammu and Kashmir at a ceremony organized by the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir in collaboration with Center for Peace, Development and Reforms (CPDR). pic.twitter.com/SdmUJQM3Vv— Masood Khan (@Masood__Khan) June 25, 2021
Speaking on the occasion, the AJK president, while referring to Thursday's meeting of some of Kashmiri leaders affiliated with the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration with Modi, asserted that they flock to Delhi not to get any relief for the people of IIOJK but an assurance from rulers in Indian capital to get power in Srinagar.
“They must keep in mind that it is the same Modi and his criminal gang who killed thousands of Kashmiri people for demanding freedom and their inalienable right to self-determination,” he said.
Masood maintained that we are well aware of the history and past of those who were keen to shake hands with the killers of our children. "These people from generation to generation have been compromising on freedom and rights of Kashmir for the lust of their power, and now they are once again out to get the lost power."
“Modi will never hand over power to them and they will further lose the trust, if any, of the Kashmiri people,” the AJK president added.
He said that there is no need for backdoor diplomacy or confidence-building with the killer of the Kashmiri people and their children.
"Will the Kashmiri people forget that 1,500 youth and children were made blind when Mehbooba Mufti was the chief minister of IIOJK, and similarly thousands of youth were killed and buried in unmarked graves during the regimes of Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah," he recounted.
Touching upon the promotion of tourism in Azad Kashmir, Masood said that it could not be promoted in the liberated territory in the past because most of the areas attractive for tourists were located close to the Line of Control (LoC) and were not safe for tourists due to Indian shelling.
“Now we are focusing on the construction of three different tourists corridor away from the LoC and the road network and allied infrastructure is being built to make these corridors accessible for tourists.”
The AJK president stressed the need of providing facilities of international standards to the tourists and proposed that the AJK tourism department should hold roadshows in London, Brussels, Gulf, and the European countries to market and explore the potential of tourism of Azad Kashmir.
He went on to say that a large number of Kashmiri expatriates would gladly invest in tourism, hydropower generation, and other sectors here.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ayesha Sohail said that if tourism in the liberated territory is promoted as an industry under a well-chalked out strategy, this can play a key role in improving the economy of the state besides raising the standard of the life of the local people.
Emphasising that the tourism sector can play a vital role in the economic development of the country especially for AJK, she said that "we need to focus our attention on the challenges and opportunities of tourism development in the areas".
She said that the UAJK has established the Sharda Centre of Learning in the Department of Art & Designs of the university has also signed an MoU with the Tourism and Archaeology Department of the AJK government for the preservation of archaeology assets of AJK.
The Department of Art and Design is leading the project with other researchers from Quaid Azam University, Hazara University, and experts from the federal government, she added.
The ceremony was also addressed by Prof Dr Shaheen Akhtar, Chaudhry Imtiaz Ahmed, Executive Director Centre for Peace, Development and Reforms Ershad Mehmood, Prof Dr Rukhsana Khan, and others.
June 25; Muzaffarabad: Addressing a report launching ceremony on "Building Sustainable Tourism in Azad Jammu and Kashmir" by University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (UAJ&K), in collaboration with Center for Peace, Development and Reforms (CPDR). pic.twitter.com/dOTl5j2qgi— Masood Khan (@Masood__Khan) June 25, 2021
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