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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly's Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, on Monday, reiterated Pakistan's continued support to the people of Kashmir till they achieve their legitimate right of self-determination.

The committee chaired by Rana Shamim Ahmed Khan, was given a detailed briefing by senior officials of the Foreign Office on the prevailing grave situation in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan's principled position about the Modi government's illegal and unilateral steps of August 5, 2019.

The committee was also appraised about Pakistan's policy concerning Kashmir and steps taken by the government to sensitise the international community about the Modi government's illegal steps as well as the continued serious abuses of human rights in the occupied valley.

The panel noted that the unilateral and illegal stepstaken by India on August 5, 2019, were in clear violation of the United Nations Security Council's resolutions, bilateral agreements and international law including the 4th Geneva Convention; particularly Articles 27 and 49.

It expressed its full support towards Pakistan's stance to continue providing all possible support to the Kashmiri people untilthey achieve their legitimate right of self-determination.

The committee also considered, "The Jammu and Kashmir (administration of Property)(Amendment Bill), 2021".

Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur briefed the participants about the objects and reasons for bringing the proposed amendment in the existing law.

He held that the legislation in question was being done in pursuance to the directions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the same would help bring ease in disposal of issues concerning properties.

After a thorough discussion, the committee unanimously recommended the bill to be passed by the National Assembly.

While reviewing the implementation report on its previous recommendations, the committeewas informed by officials of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs that a considerable number of development schemes worth billionsof rupees were being carried out under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the year 2021-22 in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

It was further informed that seven special development projects worth billions of rupees will also be undertaken by the federal government under the prime minister's package in different parts of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The committee decided to visit Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the near future inorder to oversee the on-ground physical progress on the projects.

The meeting was attended by Mohammad Bashir Khan, Syed SamiulHassan Gillani, Niaz Ahmed Jakhar,Mehboob Shah, JamshedThomas, Syed Imran Ahmed Shah, Nasir Iqbal Bosal, Iftikhar Ahmed Khan, ShamimAraPanhwar, Rubina Jamil, and Ghazala Saifi.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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