NEW YORK: Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan has said that concentration on improving the economic conditions of the Kashmiris would help create conducive environment in the State for intensifying moves for solution of Kashmir dispute. “Economy help resolves disputes”, he observed.
He was talking to Mr Stephen B Kaplitt, chief of Washington D.C-based Economic in Strategic Regions Program (EESR) here on Thursday. Mr Kaplitt called on the Prime Minister in his New York hotel suite and explained in his 2-hour long meeting the procedural role of his organization as a world-wide advisory and liaisoning agency in economic improvement initiatives in strategic regions of the globe. Present in the meeting was Media Advisor to PM Mr Hameed Shaheen.
The AJK Prime Minister briefed the EESR chief the areas of economy offering great potential for economic welfare in AJK. The areas include imparting technical skills to the youth of both the genders, needing voluminous financial induction in the sector of traditional Kashmiri handicrafts.
As explained by Mr Kaplitt the EESR’s cope of operation include stimulation of local private sector in job creation in areas where economic stagnation and unemployment have become exploitable tools in the hands of negativists. The EESR also links up the local entrepreneurs/small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with US private sector, foundations, NGOs, US government agencies, bi-laterals and multi-laterals.
Mr Kaplitt observed that economic growth dilutes popular support and sympathy for extremism as employment empowers individuals, promotes stability and encourages participation in the political process. “The question of how to leverage dollars 13 trillion US economy to invest in strategic regions of the world is taken up as a challenge by the
EESR”, he explained. He also called for project proposals by the private entrepreneurs for necessary investment support through the liaison of the EESR.
The Prime Minister told the EESR chief that traditional Kashmiri handicrafts can be the big source of economic improvement. An economic platform, the Green and Killed Kashmir, has been set up by his government in Azad Kashmir for the promotion of trades like furniture and carpet making, paper machine with teaching and training of skills in the high schools of the State. These trades are also being taught in the prisons as well to turn the prisoners into useful earning hands in the society.
The Prime Minister appreciated the briefing given to him by Mr Kaplitt and invited him to visit Azad Kashmir/Pakistan to learn more about how his organization can be economically helpful to the people of Kashmir both in AJK and in occupied parts. At present the USAID is carrying out dollars 100 million development projects in Azad Kashmir in education and health sectors.
Tomorrow, September 26, the Prime Minister will participate in the annual coordination meeting of the 57-States OIC Foreign Ministers in the UN headquarters here. Kashmir dispute as agenda item of the meeting will come up for debate and final communiqué.