AJK grants propriety rights of plots to over 700 Kashmiri refugees families
MUZAFFARABAD, Dec 12: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government on Wednesday granted propriety rights of four-marla plots to 731 families of Kashmiri refugees of 1990 and onwards who were living in miserable condition after being hit by the October 2005 earthquake.
The allotment letters were given to the representatives of these families at a ceremony in Ali Akbar Awan High School here, with Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed as the chief guest.
“It’s not an accomplishment of my government but a duty whose fulfillment had got delayed due to unavoidable reasons,” Mr Majeed said on the occasion.
Paying glowing tributes to the people of Kashmir for their matchless sacrifices, he added: “In fact you are not refugees. You have just moved from one part of your motherland to the other and my government will meet all of your needs.”
It may be mentioned here that October 2005 earthquake had played havoc with Kamsar, Karika and Heer Kutli camps of Kashmiri refugees on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad, leaving 354 of their inhabitants dead and scores others injured.
After the disaster, they were rehabilitated on a rented piece of land in Chehla Bandi where they were facing numerous problems particularly during the extreme weathers.
The plots were allotted to them in Thota Satellite Town, being developed for the landless survivors of earthquake, in Jhelum valley some 20 kilometres south of here.
The prime minister said he would ensure that commitments of National Kashmir Committee chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman to the Kashmiri refugees were also fulfilled.
“Let me also declare that we will provide financial assistance to the deserving refugees from Benazir Income Support Programme,” he said.
He further announced that the government would observe the quota of old and fresh Kashmiri refugees in jobs in AJK.
The prime minister also spoke about Kashmir issue and while recounting the commitment of his Peoples Party with the cause of Kashmiris
asserted that President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf were highlighting Kashmir cause at all international forums, vigorously and effectively.
An official of the AJK rehabilitation department told Dawn that as development work was in progress, the refugees would be given possession of their plots by April next year.