The Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan was held on Tuesday.
The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Sajid Mir and was attended among others by Senator Lt. Gen (R) Salahuddin Tirmizi, Senator Anwar Lal Dean, Senator Dr. Shehzad Waseem, Senator A. Rehman Malik, Senator Liaqat Khan Tarakai, Senator Saleem Zia and senior officers of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs Gilgit Baltistan, Government of Gilgit Baltistan and the Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the Finance Division and Higher Education Commission (HEC).
The agenda before the Committee scrutiny of PSDP proposals for the next financial year and power supply in AJK and GB.
The meeting commenced with passing of a resolution unanimously on human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), moved by Senator A. Rehman Malik. He said that it was imperative that international Human Rights observers be allowed to monitor the situation in Kashmir as per demand by Indian Human Rights Organizations. This resolution he asserted would re-energize the resolution of Kashmiris right of self-determination. He asserted the need for implementation of this resolution and stressed that there is no better forum than this Committee for this.
Senator Lt. Gen (R) Salahuddin Tirmizi was of the view that a senior level briefing by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must be given to the Committee to get a complete view of the issue and measures taken by Pakistan to resolve it. Senator Shehzad Waseem was of the view that Kashmir is a human rights issue and must be internationalized as much as possible.
While scrutinizing the PSDP proposal for the next financial year it was revealed that the AJK Government has demanded PKR 35 billion for various development and projects that included a 740 Km road along the loc that would facilitate 13 constituencies. Besides this, projects focused on providing access to the people of AJK, such as building of roads and bridges, basic health facilities, education etc. The Committee was notified that bunkers for civilians were being constructed as well. For GB the Committee was informed of the PSDP trend of the last 5 years and said that utilization was 100 percent. Exponential growth has been observed.
Deliberating over dynamics of electric supply in AJK and GB, Senator A. Rehman Malik was of the view that the future of Power Generation is GB and AJK. He said electricity was under-used in these areas and supplying surplus power to other Discos would help cut power prices. Speaking about power projects in Pakistan he said that all new projects must be designed keeping in view utility of water sources of AJK and GB.