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J&K government lukewarm to PoK PM's offer

The Jammu and Kashmir Government has not even commented on this proposal of Khan that he made at a rally in PoK on Friday.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2007 13:43 IST
Arun Joshi

Jammu and Kashmir Governmenthas not taken any cognizance ofPakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) Prime Minister Attique Khan’s offerof jobsfor doctors, engineers and other professionals from Jammu and Kashmirinto his part of the state.

The Jammu and Kashmir Government has not even commented on this proposal of Khan that he made at a rally in PoK on Friday.

"There is no possibility of anycomment coming fromthe government because the PoK Prime Minister is in need of doctors and engineers for the reconstruction of the infrastructure, flattened by the October 8, 2005 earthquake, and instead of asking directly for the help, is giving it apolitical twist, sources in the government said.

But they were wary of making an open comment for they did not want to spoil atmosphere at the time when Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee was scheduled to visit Pakistan next week.

Khan has said that since doctors and engineers were jobless in Jammu and Kashmir, he is willing to employ them in PoK.

The quake of the 7.8 Richter scale intensity destroyed much of the PoK. Nearly 90,000 people had died and close to three million lost their homes, and almost entire infrastructure, including hospitals, roads and bridges and buildings were flattened.

International Community that has been liberal with the donations and other assistance has also censured Pakistan and PoK government for failing to do anything concrete to mitigate sufferings of the people of the area.

A European Union draft report titled, "Kashmir: present situation and future prospects” regrettedthat, "in addition to the massive loss of life, Jammu and Kashmir ( Pakistan calls its part of Kashmir as Azad Jammu and Kashmir) suffered incalculable material damage to its infrastructure (hospitals, schools, government buildings, communication channels) and to what were in many cases already fragile basic institutions and services”.

Those institutions have not been built.Moreover, PoK has lost a generation and also professionals.

Khan made his offer at a rally on Friday held in connection with the "Self Determination Day”, at the time when the international reports of the European Union and New York based human rights group Human Rights Watch have exposed the way things were handled in PoK in the aftermath of the earthquake.

According to media reports, Attique Khan, who has adopted a hard-line approach ever since he has become prime minister of PoK, said that his government would provide jobs to the unemployed doctors and engineers in his part of the state. For this, he has reportedly stated that he would seek the assistance from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

The PoK prime minister is making a virtue of his necessity. His government is in need of professionals, but he is projecting as if he is trying to help Jammu and Kashmir Government in easing the unemployment problem.

In the pre-quake era, Pakistan and PoK governments had adopted other way of luring the Kashmiri youth, offering those seats in the medical and engineering colleges in Pakistan.

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First Published: Jan 07, 2007 13:43 IST