PoK offers to supply gas, power to J&K
10 February 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Islamabad: Pakistan-occupied Kashmir Government today offered to supply gas and electricity to Jammu and Kashmir as a goodwill gesture and invited entrepreneurs from 'all regions and religions' in the State to invest in PoK. PoK Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan said that much of the territory is being connected through pipelines for supply of gas from Pakistan and these could be extended to J&K to supply the fuel through two points along the Line of Control (LoC). 'We are ready to share this with our brethren on the other side of the LoC. The gas can be provided to the Kashmir valley through Chakoti and through Sialkot to Jammu at Suchathgarh if the authorities on the other side are willing,' he told . Asked whether Pakistan had surplus gas and electricity to supply it across the LoC, Khan said he has held discussions with the Pakistan authorities in this regard. 'Whatever we have we want to share with Kashmiris on the other side,' he said. Khan said the much of the quake hit areas of PoK including its capital Muzaffarabad were being connected through an extensive network of pipes to supply gas and these can be extended to Jammu and Kashmir as a goodwill gesture. PoK is also ready to share power with the other side provided there is a positive response, he said. These gestures were meant to be moral and political support to the peace process initiated by India and Pakistan to resolve Kashmir issue, he said adding that 'we want to help and further the process'. Khan also said entrepreneurs from all parts of J&K, including Ladakh and Jammu, were welcome to set up industries in PoK. 'This offer is meant to Kashmiris from all religions and regions of undivided Kashmir,' he said. Kashmiris irrespective of cast, creed, religion and region are welcome to set up industries developed after the 2005 earthquake, he said. Over 40,000 people were killed and the best parts of the province including capital Muzaffarabad were destroyed in the quake. Khan had earlier proposed opening the province for professionals from J&K like Doctors and Engineers to work in PoK. The offer stands, he said. In return, Khan asked universities in J&K to admit students from PoK for higher studies in different faculties as the province lacked such facilities, he said. 'The crux of the mater is that Kashmiris should play as a bridge between India and Pakistan to resolve their disputes and improve their relations,' he said.