ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has urged all the stakeholders to exercise restraint and resolve the issues in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) through dialogue and mutual consultation.

He added that the political parties, state institutions and the people of AJK should act responsibly so that hostile elements could not exploit the situation to their benefit.

The president expressed these views during a meeting with a delegation of members of the AJK Legislative Assembly belonging to Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP), who called on him, at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Sunday.

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The delegation briefed him about recent happenings and unfortunate developments in AJK.

Talking to them, the president highlighted that the demands of the people of AJK should be addressed as per law. He said that he would take up/ discuss the grievances of the people of AJK with the prime minister of Pakistan to find a way out of the current situation.

He emphasised that priority should be accorded to the socioeconomic uplift of AJK, with special focus on the development of health, education, tourism and infrastructure. He underlined the need to bring the far-flung areas at par with other developed areas of the country.

The president regretted the current situation and offered condolences over the unfortunate death of the police officer and prayed for swift recovery of all those who were injured in recent clashes.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has urged all parties in Azad Kashmir to resort to peaceful course of action for resolution of their demands.

In a message on social media platform X on Sunday, he said that he has talked to the Prime Minister Azad Kashmir and directed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) office bearers in AJK to talk to leaders of action committee.

Expressing deep concern over the situation in Azad Kashmir, Shehbaz Sharif said discussions and peaceful protests are beauty of democracy, but there should be no tolerance for taking law into hands and damaging government properties.

He expressed the hope that despite political point scoring and efforts of detractors, the matter will be settled soon.

The Prime Minister lamented how some elements always rush in situations of dissent to score political points.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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