MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Saturday said that the Pakistan government would stand by Kashmiris in every challenge and would take all steps for their development and progress.
He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq Shaheed Medical College here, which he named after a great Kashmiri leader in recognition of his untiring efforts for the freedom of Kashmir.
The medical college has been built with the assistance of Turkish government and Chairman Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA).
The Prime Minister, who arrived here on a day-long visit to commemorate sixth anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake in 2005, inaugurated a series of development projects as part of the ongoing reconstruction phase.
He directed to implement the project of constructing Muzaffarabad-Kohala-Lower-Topa Road. He announced 2,000 new jobs in AJK Police Department for an improved security system for AJK people.
He also announced the establishment of an IT university in Rawalakot.
Gilani said much is needed to be done in terms of reconstruction, requiring Rs125 billion for work ranging from primary schools to mega projects.
He said out of 7790 projects, ERRA had completed 3752 projects while 2613 were ongoing.
He mentioned today’s inauguration of Government Boys Pilot High School at a cost of Rs145 million.
He said with Turkish assistance, a District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) complex had been built with Rs2.93 billion. He thanked Turkey and United Arab Emirates for the reconstruction of hospital in Muzaffarabad and Rawalakot with Rs5 billion.
Gilani expressed gratitude for the assistance by Saudi Arabia for providing Rs3 billion for DHQ complex and Rs7 billion for AJK university’s Rawalakot and Muzaffarabad campuses.
He said with Saudi and Kuwaiti assistance, work in education and administration sectors was ongoing with Rs14.5 billion.
PM inaugurates school ‘reborn from the ashes’
PM Gilani inaugurated a high school, built at the site of a school where 81 students and nine teachers were buried alive following the 2005 earthquake.
Gilani unveiled the plaque of the Government Boys Pilot High School No 1, as part of a series of development projects for the area that suffered major devastation in the wake of the earthquake. The Prime Minister announced Rs2 million for the newly-built school.
He took a round of various sections of the school and reviewed the facilities available for the students. He was accompanied by AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed and Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Mian Manzoor Wattoo.
The school has been built with the assistance by DFID, and a non-governmental organization.
As many as 1386 students are studying at the school, equipped with a modern science and IT laboratory along with a well stocked library.
The construction of the school building in accordance with the requirements for seismic zone was started in 2010 and completed within a year.
He gave away Rs10,000 for the group of students who sang national songs on the occasion.
PM inaugurates AJK’s first modern eye facility
PM Gilani inaugurated a specialty eye hospital in Muzaffarabad, the first ever such medically advanced facility in Azad Kashmir.
The Prime Minister unveiled the plaque of Al-Shifa Eye Trust, the largest hospital in the valley with a modern ophthalmology department, for the treatment of eye ailments.
The hospital spans over 60 canal of land, provided free of cost by the AJK government. The facility is an outcome of financial assistance by philanthropists and donors of Al-Shifa Eye Trust.
The Prime Minister visited various sections of the hospital including operation theatre and the female ward. He enquired about the health of the patients.
Gilani said that Al-Shifa Trust is playing a leading role as a non-governmental organization to assist the federal and provincial governments in prevention and control of blindness.
He said the government provides Rs 100 million annually to Al-Shifa Trust and announced doubling of this grant, to be used for the treatment of poor people.
He said about 1.8 million people of Pakistan are blind and about 5 million people have serious visual impairments.
With the realization of health costs rising rapidly, he urged the donors to continue their financial support.
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