A meeting of the Senate Standing on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Prof. Sajid Mir here at Parliament House on Monday.
At the outset, the Committee was informed about the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) proposed for the next financial year 2022-2023. Zahid Ali Abbassi Additional Secretary for Ministry of Kashmir Affairs told the Committee that Block Allocation for Kashmir is Rs.234136.5 million and there are total 08 ongoing PSDP projects in Kashmir and its estimated cost is Rs.38112.1 million and proposed allocation for these projects for 2022-2023 is Rs.9636.1 million However, the Block allocation for Gilgit Baltistan is Rs.137789.0 million and there are total 17 ongoing PSDP projects in GB and estimated cost of these projects is Rs.106239.8 million and proposed allocation for these projects for 2022-2023 is Rs.29903.7 million,he added. There are 08 new PSDP projects in Gilgit Baltistan, which estimated cost is Rs.21899.0 million and the proposed allocation for 2022-2023 for these projects is Rs.5474.7 million, he further added. Chairman Committee stated that these projects hold vital importance for Pakistan and it must be completed on time.
Deliberating on the matter of NoseriLeswa By-Pass, Ministry told the Committee that work on the project was completed by 95pc, but due to cloud burst, 13km of project has been washed away. Zahid Ali Abbassi apprised the Committee that Pakistan Engineering Council suggested to revise the design of the project and recommended NESPAK for this work. Deliberations on the design of NoseriLeswa project with Nespak have been concluded and the project will be completed soon, he further informed. The Committee recommended that Pakistan engineering Council should monitors the said project in the large interest of the country.
While discussing the Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) properties in Pakistan, Ministry stated that the total of 4288 acres agriculture land and 313 kanal commercial land is present in 7 districts of Punjab including Lahore,sheikhupura,Gujranwala,Sialkot,Narowal,Jhelum,Rawalpindi and the estimated revenue from these properties in April 2021 was Rs.170 Million. The Ministry apprised the Committee that there are total 57 pending cases for ejection regarding the property of Azad Jammu and Kashmir out of which 40 cases are pending in civil courts, 07 in the session courts and 10 in the High court. The Committee showed suspicion on the availability of agricultural land in Rehman Pura Lahore and decided to form a subcommittee under the Covenership of Senator Ejaz Muhammad Chaudhary in order to probe into the availability of land in the respective areas. Shahadat Ali Awan was of the opinion that according to the law, the properties of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan cannot be owned by a Pakistani citizen and questioned why Chinese have been allowed to buy properties in GB and AJK ,while Pakistani cannot and demanded details of properties of AJK and GB and it's tenants in the next meeting. The Committee showed displeasure on the absence of the Minister and the Secretary for Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and directed to ensure its presence in the next meeting.
The meeting was attended by Senator Irfan ul Haque Siddiqui, Senator Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhary, Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt, Senator Muhammad Qasim, Senator Shahadat Awan, Senator Kamran Michael, Senator Falak Naz, Senator Liaqat Khan Tarakai,Additional Secretary for Ministry of Kashmir Affairs Zahid Ali Abbassi and others Senior Officers of Ministry as well.