MUZAFFARABAD, June 25: President AJK Sardar Masood Khan has said that Kashmiri leaders who went to Delhi, shook hands, and exchanged pleasantries with Modi and Amit Shah have rubbed salt on the wounds of the Kashmiri nation.
“Narendra Modi's hands are stained with the blood of innocent people whether it was carnage of innocent Muslims in Gujrat or state-sponsored tyranny in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir," he said while speaking at a launching ceremony of a research report on “Building Sustainable Tourism in AJK”.
The ceremony organized by the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (UAJK) in collaboration with the Centre for Peace, Development, and Reforms (CPDR) was also addressed by Registrar of the UAJK, Dr Ayesha Sohail, Secretary Tourism, Chaudhry Imtiaz Ahmed, author of the report Prof Dr Shaheen Akhtar, Executive Director CPDR, Irshad Mehmood, Prof Dr Rukhsana Khan, and others.
Speaking on the occasion, President Masood Khan while referring to the recent meeting of some of the Kashmiri leaders affiliated with the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asserted that they flock to Delhi not to get any relief for the people of IOJK but an assurance from rulers in Delhi to get power in Srinagar.
“They must keep in mind that it was the same Modi and his criminal gang who got killed thousands of Kashmiri people for demanding freedom and their inalienable right to self-determination”, he said.
The state president maintained that we are well aware of the history and past of those who were keen to shake hands with the killers of our children. These people from generation to generation have been compromising on freedom and rights of Kashmir for the lust of their power, and now they are once again out to get the lost power, he said.
“Modi will never hand over power to them and they will further lose the trust, if any, of the Kashmiri people,” President Khan said.
The AJK President said that there is no need of backdoor diplomacy or confidence-building with the killer of Kashmiri people and their children.
"Will the Kashmiri people forget that 1,500 youth and children were made blind when Mehbooba Mufti chief minister (of IOJK), and similarly thousands of youth were killed and buried in unmarked graves during the regimes of Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah," he recounted.
Touching upon the promotion of tourism in Azad Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan said that tourism could not be promoted in the liberated territory in the past because most of areas attractive for tourists were located close to the Line of Control and were not safe for tourists due to Indian shelling.
“Now we are focusing on the construction of three different tourists corridor away from LoC and road network and allied infrastructure is being built to make these corridors accessible for tourists,” he maintained.
The President stressed the need of providing facilities of international standards to the tourists, and proposed that the AJK tourism department should hold road shows in London, Brussels, Gulf, and the European countries to marketing to explore the potential of tourism of Azad Kashmir. He went on to say that a large number of Kashmiri expatriates would gladly invest in tourism, hydropower generation and other sectors here.
Speaking on the occasion, Registrar University of Azad Kashmir Dr. Ayesha Sohail said that if tourism in the liberated territory is promoted as an industry under a well chalked out strategy, this can play a key role in improving the economy of the state besides raising the standard of the life of the local people.
Emphasizing that the tourism sector can play a vital role in the economic development of country especially for AJK, Dr Ayesha said that we need to focus our attention on the challenges and opportunities of tourism development in the areas. She said that UAJK has established Sharda Centre of Learning in the Department of Art & Designs of the university has also signed an MoU with the Tourism and Archaeology Department of AJK government for the preservation of archaeology assets of AJK.
The Department of Art and Design is leading the project with other researchers from Quaid Azam University, Hazara University, and experts from Federal Government, she added.
The ceremony was also addressed by the author of the report Prof. Dr. Shaheen Akhtar, Secretary Tourism Chaudhry Imtiaz Ahmed, Executive Director Center for Peace, Development and Reforms Ershad Mehmood, Prof Dr Rukhsana Khan and others.