Recognising sacrifice: Mangla Dam affectees to get chunk of refugee quota

MIRPUR: The sacrifices of those, who left their ancestral homes to make way for the construction of the massive Mangla dam and to resolve the energy crisis in the country, will not be forgotten and efforts were underway to include them in a quota for refugees.

This was stated by Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Sunday.

“Their [Mangla Dam affectees] sacrifices for giving power to Pakistan will always be remembered,” he expressed while addressing a gathering of Mangla Dam affectees and refugees of Jammu Kashmir in Mirpur.

Haider said that the region’s government had listed Mangla Dam affectees in the list of affected refugees last year, while the Constitution had also been amended in this regard.

Moreover, he added that next week, during his scheduled meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, he would raise the issue of including Mangla Dam victims in the 25 per cent quota for Pakistan-based refugees of Kashmir.

“There are 649 cases still pending regarding ownership of land which will soon be addressed and a senior member of the Board of Revenue will visit Lahore to resolve these cases,” he added.

Haider thanked Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for providing Rs90 million to members of the AJK Legislative Assembly for the refugee seats in Pakistan, apart from committing to provide jobs.

“We are more concerned with Kashmir situation. A strong and stable Pakistan is the first subject of the Kashmir cause since Pakistan is our lawyer in the global community,” Haider said.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2018.

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