MIRPUR (AJK): AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has said that people from all walks of life in Pakistan and the international community had displayed extraordinary generosity and unity in helping their brothers and sisters throughout AJK and Pakistan during the aftermath of the horrific 8th October 2005 deadly earthquake
The President made these remarks in an interview to the state television on the eve of the National Disaster Awareness Day held each year on 8th October in remembrance of the devastating earthquake that hit the northern areas of Pakistan and AJK on this day in 2005.
The President said that this area being located in a high risk seismic region makes us prone to such natural disasters and it is imperative that our efforts must be focused on active preemptive measures in order to tackle such calamities.
After the earthquake a holistic reconstruction program had been initiated all over AJK with special focus on health facilities, infrastructure and reconstruction of schools in the affected areas of the state, said the President. He said, development work is still in progress and shall continue till all the affected areas are covered.
President Masood Khan stressed upon the need for broader dissemination of information on precautionary and safety measures amongst the public to enable them to effectively cope with natural disasters. The President emphasized that climate change cannot be ignored and the AJK government’s Environmental Protection Agency closely monitors all construction projects so as to ensure procedural formalities are followed.
“Government institutions concerned like Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA), State Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Agency (SERRA-AJK) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) are functioning in harmony with each other and synergizing their strengths to cope with any calamit, said President AJK.
On a question over the recent visit abroad and the Kashmir dispute, the President said that the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir had held a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting, in which the current human rights situation in IOK was discussed in detail. The President also expressed his concern on the inattention of the international community over the humanitarian crisis unravelling in IOK. He said that we will continue to advocate the case of the people Kashmir and support their just struggle of right to self-determination.
The President said that new development projects in all sectors including renewable energy, health, tourism, roads and educational institutions have been initiated by this government. He said that hydro-power projects in Kotli, Mahl and Kohala are in progress which be a valuable contribution to the national electricity grid. While highlighting the importance of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the President said that projects affiliated with CPEC like the new Industrial Zone in Mirpur and the interconnectivity of various districts of AJK to the national road network through the Mansehra-Muzaffarabad-Mirpur Expressway, will open new avenues of economic progress for AJK.