Azad Kashmir’s funds and political battle

Written by The Frontier Post

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, Qamar Zaman Kaira has told the media that the budgetary allocations for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan have been revised as per the directives of Prime Minister and consequently their shares in the federal budget have been enhanced according to their requirements and completion of the developmental projects. According to Kaira, the impression was being created that the federal government has made a cut in the budget of Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir where Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf is in power which he conveyed to the Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif after that he took notice of the issue. Kaira said that the present government realizes that Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan are lagging behind in development and lack resources, therefore the government would continue taking all possible steps to improve the living standards of people of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.

Earlier, after the presentation of the federal budget in the national assembly, there had been statements from the AJ&K and GB governments that the Centre has made significant cuts in their development funds that will not only disturb ongoing development projects but also undermine budgetary allocations in the accounts of local development and salaries of state employees. Recently, the finance minister AJ&K, Majid Khan along with other PTI parliamentarians from Azad Kashmir held a press conference in the national capital and leveled charges against the coalition government that Centre was not ready to provide state’s share at the rate of 3.64 percent to the Azad Kashmir government despite their meeting with government functionaries on the issue. The Kashmiri leader pressed the coalition government while referring to the ongoing freedom movement in Indian occupied Kashmir and lamented the sitting government for discrediting sacrifices rendered by the Kashmiris for the country. While similar concerns had been echoed by the GB government on the issue. After that the federal government has acted swiftly and resolved the issue after necessary deliberation with the stakeholders from Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. In fact, the country is passing through crucial time which merits sacrifice from all federating units hence politicians have expertise to make full use of each other’s weaknesses.

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