MUZAFFARABAD, July 17: The President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has described Neelum valley as the first defense line of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, and its people as the unpaid defenders of the motherland.
He expressed these views while addressing a big gathering after distributing relief goods among the calamity-hit people at Kel in Neelum Valley on Friday on behalf of Pakistan Red Crescent Society the relief goods. The function was also addressed among others by Chairman PRCS Abrarul Haq and the Administrator PRCS Azad Kashmir chapter Col (retd) Tahir Younus.
The AJK President said that the people of Neelum Valley have valiantly responded to Indian aggressions and the natural calamities in every period. The families living in Neelum valley were the first to fall victims, whenever a war breaks out or firing is carried out from the other side of the Line of Control, he said adding that the sacrifices offered by the people of the valley would never be forgotten.
He said that unfortunately, the Neelum valley side by side with the Indian aggressions is prone to natural calamities disasters. But it was a matter of satisfaction that the armed forces of Pakistan and the district administrations were the first, reach for rescue and relief operation whenever some natural or man-made calamity hit the area.
The state President said that he had personally witnessed how the armed forces of Pakistan had saved precious lives of the people during the snow avalanche in Sargan area where 68 people had lost their lives and more or less the same number of other people had sustained injuries in this tragedy. He said that compensation for the losses is still being paid.
Khan said that the government would build bunkers along with the residential houses as well as community bunkers near the cluster of houses of those living close to the LoC in order to protect their lives. Besides, the government has made a three times increase in the compensation of those affected in the Indian firing, and now according to the announcement of Pakistani prime minister, health cards were also being issued to them.
Sardar Masood Khan said that 235 houses destroyed in the tragedy in Surgan and other areas have been reconstructed, while the reconstruction of another 375 houses is in progress. The affected people would also be compensated for the losses of their businesses and cattle heads.
Touching upon the situation of occupied Kashmir, he urged the international community to take notice of the state repression being perpetrated by India under the garb of new domicile laws which are being used as a tool for the ethnic cleansing of the innocent Kashmiri people.
“The Domicile Laws are an attempt to snatch the rights of Kashmiris and a part of a conspiracy to bring in a demographic change in Kashmir by turning the majority of Muslims into a minority in their own homeland,” he added.
The AJK President said that coronavirus was another natural calamity being faced by the people of not only Neelum Valley but the whole world. However, its intensity is far low in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir as compared to other parts of the world. We will have to fight on two-pronged fronts that is the corona pandemic and the economic front to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential commodities.
The state President urged the people to take all possible preventive measures in the days to come to affectively contain the spread of coronavirus. He also expressed his profound gratitude to Chairman Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Ibrarul Haq for always putting AJK first in the priorities of Pakistan Red Crescent’s welfare projects.