Muzaffarabad, May1: Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that trade and tourism between Muzaffarabad and Srinagar should start so that Kashmiris on either side can avail of opportunities to sit and interact with each other.
Addressing Azad Jammu and Kashmir assembly here on Wednesday, Gilani said, "We are happy that the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus service has been launched and some points have been opened along the Line of Control for divided families. The trade and tourism between the two parts should also be initiated. In all spheres of life, the people of Kashmir should be given maximum opportunities to interact with each other."
"Pakistan wants to hold purposeful and result-oriented talks with India and we are hopeful that the (ongoing) composite dialogue between the two sides will arrive at a better outcome on the Kashmir conflict," the Dawn quoted him, as saying.
He also made it clear that Pakistan would fully respect the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiris about their future status.
He said he had a full realisation of the losses and wanted that the reconstruction work in the earthquake hit areas of Kashmir to be completed as early as possible. A review meeting of Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) would be held every month to speed up the rehabilitation and reconstruction process, he said.
He directed the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs to resolve all issues relevant to the Mangla Dam extension project.
He announced that the federal government would establish a medical college in Muzaffarabad in collaboration with the AJK Council, the AJK Government and the private sector. The government would also tap the rich water resources in Azad Kashmir and is considering construction of a 100-megawatt hydropower projects in public sector.
About the increase of Rs 500 in the monthly subsistence allowance for Kashmiri refugees, he said the government would try to include that raise in the next budget.