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‘AJK has potential to become Silicon Valley of Pakistan’ | The Express Tribune


Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has appreciated the Akhuwat Foundation’s welfare projects that aim to alleviate poverty and improve health and education for the most vulnerable and underprivileged people in the country.

He said this after a briefing given to him by senior member of the Board of Directors of Akhuwat Foundation Pakistan Mohammad Salim Ahmed Ranjha in Islamabad on Wednesday.

“AJK will fully cooperate with the Akhuwat Foundation in its endeavour to combat hunger, alleviate poverty and improve the health and education sector,” he added.


With the highest literacy rate and the spirit of cooperation among ambitious educated youth, Masood said, AJK could be transformed into a Silicon Valley and IT hub of Pakistan if the youth of the area are provided guidance and required training.

Speaking on the occasion Ranjha said that Akhuwat Foundation is providing interest-free loans to the underprivileged youth of all the four provinces and Azad Jammu and Kashmir and response of AJK in repayment of the loans is a way better than all other provinces of the country.

Read more: IIOJK people facing a severe health crisis, PTSD: Masood

Highlighting the details of the foundation’s AJK specific projects, he said that the Akhuwat Foundation is considering expanding its interest-free loan scheme to the remote areas of Azad Kashmir to alleviate poverty besides providing medical facilities to the people in remote rural areas through telemedicine.

Ranjha also said, “Besides the microfinance scheme, the Akhuwat Foundation is considering to introduce Kashmiri handicrafts at home and abroad, and establishing an educational institution in Muzaffarabad on the pattern of NJV School Karachi.”

He said that the Akhuwat Foundation under the Islamic concept of Quarz-e-Hasna has provided more than Rs130 billion through its 831 branches in the length and cranny of the country, while the foundation has established 200 rest houses for the poor segments of society and 301 schools to provide quality education to more than 47,000 poor students.

The foundation, he added, had provided Rs2.16 billion to 60,000 families in Azad Kashmir and the state government has “extended full cooperation to the foundation in this regard”.

Ranjha went on to say that the foundation has established 23 telemedicine centres affiliated with the best hospitals in the country. “Besides, it has provided 20 ambulances and more than 400,000 patients have used this service so far, and now we want to repeat the same exercise in Azad Kashmir also as the people of remote mountainous areas have no access to hospitals in urban areas.”

He further said that in collaboration with the Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVETA), “we intend to come up with a comprehensive plan to impart vocational education to the youth, while we have planned to set up a business incubation centre to connect the students of five public sector universities of the liberated territory with the job market so that the students and researchers have an interest in devising business plans get basic infrastructure”.

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