Min Altaf Bukhari

Minister for Public Works and chairman District Development Board Poonch, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari Tuesday expressed hope that the scheduled meeting between National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan on August 23 will open doors for a sustained and meaningful dialogue between the two neighbouring countries so that the border residents get rid of perpetuating violence and bloodshed.

Bukhari during his tour of Balakote sector in Poonch district met families affected by the shelling on the LoC. He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, Member Parliament Jugul Koshore Sharma, MLA Haveli Shah Mohammad Tantray, PDP district president and other PDP leaders of the area.

According to a PDP statement, offering condolence on behalf of the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the Minister for Public Works expressed solidarity with the bereaved families of innocent civilians killed due to shelling and wished early recovery of those who sustained serious injuries due to recent border skirmishes.

Bukhari said, “permanent solution to ensure a peaceful atmosphere on LoC has become imperative as the border residents are living under constant fear and uncertain future.”

He said the meeting between NSAs of the two countries is the right way towards improving relations between the two countries as it would hopefully lead to successful peace initiatives ahead. “Tensions between the neighbouring countries,” he observed, “would ease if there is a cool down at the border.”

After visiting the bereaved families, the Minister had a detailed interaction with the representatives of the different areas of the district and received brief from them about the developmental needs of their respective areas.

Besides stressing for security and safety of the people in the area, the inhabitants demanded immediate ex-gratia compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family of those killed and a job to the next of their kin. They also demanded that the injured be compensated and their best possible medical treatment should be ensured on compassionate grounds, the PDP statement said.

During their interaction with the Minister for Public Works, the inhabitants also demanded construction of bunkers, repairs and construction of roads, electricity and drinking water supply. Assuring full support from the government to the people Bukhari told the inhabitants of the area that a comprehensive plan has already been chalked out for the up-gradation of healthcare infrastructure besides providing quality basic amenities like roads, electricity and safe drinking water to the inhabitants of border districts in the state on priority basis.

He said apart from constructing permanent bunkers in villages susceptible to repeated LoC firing, the government will provide critical care ambulances in the district so that seriously injured persons can be looked after immediately. He also directed Deputy Commissioner to immediately process cases under SRO-43 besides expeditious disposal of ex-gratia to NoKs of the deceased.


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