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NA Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Meets
Thursday, 2nd December, 2021


Islamabad, the 2nd December, 2021: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan express concern over undue cutting of trees of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) thus summons Secretary, Forests Department, Government of AJK in the next meeting.

10th meeting of the Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan held today at 11:30 a.m. in the Parliament House, Islamabad, under the Chairmanship of Rana Shamim Ahmed Khan, MNA.

During the course of discussion on the agenda regarding the allocated and utilized budget by the AJK Council during the last five years, the Committee viewed that the Forest Department of the Government of AJK was required to make foolproof arrangements for safeguarding the forests but unfortunately the position was entirely different as the concerned authorities were seemed to be failed in preventing undue cutting of trees by the inhabitants on account of fire purpose leading to conversion of green hills into barren lands. Therefore, the Committee decided to summon the Secretary, Forests Department, Government of AJK in the next meeting.

Regarding the project titled “Construction of Rathoa-Haryam Bridge”, the Committee was informed by the Ministry that about 75% physical progress of the said project has been completed while the remaining 25% work was lying in waiting due to an unwanted tug of war amongst different stakeholders. A Fact-Finding Inquiry, appointed by the Government of AJK on the direction of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, had submitted its report and all those held responsible will be taken to task. The Committee directed the Ministry to provide to it a copy of the Fact-Finding Inquiry Report along with the implementation status of actions taken thereof on the recommendations of the said Fact-Finding Inquiry besides the roadmap for completion of the said project in the next meeting.

The Committee also decided to visit AJK in order to oversee the on-ground physical progress of the ongoing development projects.

The meeting was attended by Mr. Saleem Rehman, Mr. Mehboob Shah, Mr. Muhammad Bashir Khan, Mr. Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh, Makhdoom Syed Sami ul Hassan Gillani, Mr. Niaz Ahmed Jakhar, Ms. Ghazala Saifi, Mr. Ehsanullah Reki, Syed Imran Ahmed Shah, Nawabzada Iftikhar Ahmed Khan Babar and Ms. Shamim Ara Panhwar, MNAs/Members. The senior officers of Ministries of Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit-Baltistan and Finance, and the Government of AJK, were also present in the meeting.

Secretary Committee