ISLAMABAD (AA) – The US ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, paid an official trip to Azad Jammu and Kashmir for the first time since he landed in the capital Islamabad to take up his job.
In an official statement, the US Embassy said Donald Blome’s visit to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Oct. 2-4 was to “promote the US-Pakistan partnership and highlight the two countries’ deep economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties.”
During his stay in Kashmir, he met with AJK Prime Minister Tanveer Ilyas and representatives from academia, business, cultural, and civil society organizations.
He also laid a wreath to honor the victims of the 2005 earthquake.
“During the 75 years of our partnership, the United States has always stood by Pakistan, particularly when it’s needed most,” said the US ambassador.
“The United States is continuing this strong tradition of supporting Pakistan during times of great need, having thus far contributed more than $66 million in cash, food, shelter, and health assistance in response to the devastating flooding. The US support has included a US military airbridge that delivered lifesaving supplies to the people of Pakistan,” said Blome.
He also visited the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Quaid-e-Azam Memorial Dak Bungalow, the Red Fort, and the Jalalabad Garden – symbols of the cultural and historical richness of Pakistan.
AJK Premier Ilyas, during his meeting with the ambassador, raised the ongoing human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir and urged the US to play its role and “stop India from human rights violations against the innocent Kashmiri people.”
Ilyas also presented a proposal to the US envoy for investment in tourism, education, culture and other sectors in Azad Kashmir, according to the AJK premier’s office.