PRESIDENT of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan has said that Azad Kashmir can be turned into Silicon Valley and IT hub, which would supplement and augment Pakistan’s burgeoning IT market. Addressing a seminar at Mirpur University of Science and Technology, he pointed out that AJK could host high-tech corporations and venture capital.
Azad Kashmir is lucky that it has a visionary President who has necessary background and knowledge not only to contribute immensely for the cause of Kashmir issue but also offer a leading role in bringing about a socio-economic change in the territory. What Sardar Masood has said is attainable as AJK has all the ingredients to become an IT hub. Developmental allocations for Azad Kashmir have been almost doubled for the next financial year in line with the commitment of the PML (N) government. Already, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced a number of mega projects including motorways and highways, tunnels, airports, energy projects and upgradation of educational and medical facilities. Creation of world-class infrastructure as well as linking of AJK with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would unleash vast potential for progress and development in Azad Kashmir besides brightening prospects for tourism development and promotion. However, long-term progress and development would be possible only if the AJK government focus on human resource development as emphasised by Sardar Masood Khan. As necessary funds are at the disposal of AJK government, it is hoped that it would embark upon a well-knit programme for imparting necessary knowledge and skills to students. Apart from hiring highly qualified faculty, universities should launch engineering programmes that could equip local students with required skills to take benefits of developmental activities and CPEC related projects. We hope that apart from persuading AJK government to integrate his vision into budgetary proposals, Sardar Masood would also convince Kashmiri Diaspora to invest in profitable ventures back home.