Senate Standing Committee briefed on Kashmir Solidarity Day preparations

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan was held here at the Parliament House on Thursday with Senator Prof. Sajid Mir in chair.

The Senate body deliberated on budgetary utilization of AJK and GB during the first six months of the current fiscal year 2022-2023, said a press release.

The officials informed the committee that the total budget of AJK and GB for 2022-23 is around Rs 1142.168 million which includes Rs 186.143 million for Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, Rs 260 million for Refugees Management Cell, Rs 24.954 million for Directorate of Health Services (AK), Rs 4.432 million for J&K Refugees Rehabilitation Organization and Rs 666.639 million for Gilgit Baltistan Council Secretariat Islamabad.

They said the federal government has released Rs 459.571 million till December 2022 and total expenditure stood around Rs 455.264 million and a shortfall of Rs 151.636 million is expected under the head of Gilgit Baltistan Council, Islamabad.
Discussing the matter of Azad Kashmir properties located in the different parts of the country, the committee decided to form a Sub-Committee to probe the matter and it was decided that these properties should be handed over to Azad Kashmir government to get benefit from them.

The Committee was also briefed about the preparations with respect to Kashmir Solidarity Day on 5th February.

Secretary for Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Zahoor Ahmed, apprised the committee that the government has aimed to disseminate Pakistan message on Kashmir Solidarity Day worldwide and support from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has also been sought in this regard. Among other activities, the ministry has organized three days cultural festival with the collaboration of National Council of Arts to exhibit the culture and traditions of Azad Jammu Kashmir and a walk from Foreign Office to D Chowk will also be held to mark solidarity with the people of Azad Kashmir.

The Chairman Committee congratulated ministry on their efforts in highlighting the Kashmir cause and reiterated that no stone shall left unturned in self-determination struggle of Kashmiris.

The meeting was attended by Senator Shahadat Awan, Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt, Senator Kamran Michael, Advisor to Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira, Additional Secretary for Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Zahoor Ahmed and other senior officers of concerned departments. (APP)