Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Chaudhry Barjees Tahir said on Thursday the Kashmir issue was almost close to be resolved in 1997 after the visit of then Indian prime minister to Lahore when dictator Pervez Musharraf first staged the Kargil drama and then sent elected prime minister Nawaz Sharif to jail.
He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the office of administrator of Jammu and Kashmir State Property here at Kashmir Road. Barjees Tahir said that after 1997, no chance to resolve the Kahsmir issue surfaced as Indian forces continued killing innocent people in held Kashmir which was evident from the fact that human right organisations had found so many mass graves in the valley.
He said the United Nations had passed many resolutions on the Kashmir issue, but the dishonest Indian leaders did not heed them. Instead over 700,000 Indian troops were still committing human rights violations in the valley, he added.
“We cannot survive without Kashmir and the Kashmiri people also do not want to live without Pakistan,” he said. The minister said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was fully committed to resolving the dispute as soon as possible and he had raised the issue in the UN General Assembly four times.
Barjees said during the last 70 years, not a single mega project was inaugurated in Azad Kashmir but the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had allocated a huge amount for development projects in the state.
Kashmir would be connected with Gilgit-Baltistan through a tunnel, which would be built under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said, adding a helicopter ambulance service would also be provided to the Kashmiri people.
He said the prime minister had already doubled AJK budget from Rs 11 billion to Rs 22 billion. He had also approved 1450-kilometre long roads for the valley, while Muzaffarabad-Mirpur Mangla Expressway and Muzaffarabad-Mansehra Shahrah would also be part of CPEC. He said the prime minister had also approved gas facility for Mirpur. Industrial zones would be set up in Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Bhimber, he added.