News / Views

‘ Youth point out poor infrastructure in AJK ’

MIRPUR | 11 January 2017
Azad Jammu Kashmir President Masood Khan has said that two industrial zones, each in Bhimber and Mirpur and an Express Way from Muzaffarabad to Mirpur have been included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He was addressing participants of a second round of the youth policy dialogue organised by the Centre for Peace, Development and Reforms (CPDR) in collaboration with the British Council here on Tuesday. Around 200 young people shared their views with the president and asked critical questions regarding uneven relationship between Muzaffarabad and Islamabad, poor infrastructure, lack of quality education and health facilities in the state.

Answering a question on education system, President Masood stated that he envisions the right person for right job in universities besides minimal political interference and intended to initiate new degree programme compatible to the market demand. "Youth and civil society should support government for better governance, and we need to introduce reforms both at micro and macro level to curb corruption," he said.

On rising unemployment, he said that the government was making serious efforts to create opportunities for the investment and private sector employment to reduce brain drain and provide opportunities of jobs for the young people. Speaking on the occasion, CPDR Executive Director Ershad Mahmud said that in today's globalised world, no nation can make progress without increasing youth participation in the policy-making process and ensuring their economic empowerment. British Council Head of Programmes-Society Zeenia Faraz hinted to explore the possibilities to develop linkages between Kashmiri diaspora settled in the United Kingdom and community in Azad Jammu Kashmir. CPDR Programmes Director Dr Waqas Ali said that the majority of the population in the state comprises of young people and deliberate efforts were required to address issues like unemployment, brain drain and the capacity to better harness their untapped energies.

Zulfiqar Abbasi, a leading businessman, stated that the role of the private sector must be made instrumental to generate economic opportunities for youth instead of providing jobs in the public sector. He underlined the urgent need to conduct an economic survey of Azad Jammu Kashmir so that real policies can be formulated on the basis of facts and figures.

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