Releasing its election manifesto for upcoming polls, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) AJK chapter’s President Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhary on Wednesday announced to bring wide-ranging reforms in the state after coming into power. Elaborating the salient features of the manifesto, Central Information Secretary PTI AJK Chapter Ershad Mahmood told APP here on Wednesday that in a 30-page booklet, identifying the most out-standing issues faced by the people of Azad Kashmir, the party has reiterated its unflinching faith to resolve the long-standing issues in order to bring the much-needed change in the region’s political system. Released by the party Chief Barrister Sultan, also the party’s candidate from his parent Mirpur city Constituency, the manifesto also promised representation of AJK in the federal decision-making bodies such as the National Finance Commission, the National Economic Council, Council of Common Interests and IRSA. PTI’s President Sultan guaranteed local body elections within the first three months of the formation of government, making it absolutely clear that the financial and administrative powers will be ceded to the local bodies. PTI in its election manifesto stated that the District Finance Commission (DFC) will be established for the fair distribution of resources amongst the State residents, in order to create a system of coordination among the districts and ensure fair distribution of resources. “Women’s seats will be increased by 17% on federal and provincial lines to ensure an effective participation of women in the legislation process”, the statement said. As part of the party’s policy to empower the womenfolk in AJK, the manifesto further stated that the appointment of women in law enforcement departments will be ensured. “A law such as the Enforcement of Women Property Rights Act 2019 will be passed on the pattern of the federation and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa so that women can have a share in property or they can be empowered by giving them the right of ownership”, the manifesto claimed. “A female ombudsman will be appointed to prevent the harassment of women at workplaces”, the statement says, adding that the party would review the issue of granting State Subject Certificate to overseas Kashmiris so that they are able to maintain their identity. The statement further said that the overseas Kashmiris would be given full representation in the Board of Investment along with the right to vote. The manifesto states that three more seats will be added for Overseas Kashmiris in the Legislative Assembly of Azad Kashmir. Furthermore, the manifesto assures the establishment of the Human Rights Commission, the passing of the Access to Information Act and strengthening of the local press. “Members of the Press Foundation will be facilitated in the Prime Minister’s House scheme on priority basis; the police system will be reformed to make it free from political influence”, the statement says, adding that separate police stations for women would be set up in Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Poonch divisions whereas the government records and documents will be digitized. “A new industrial and investment policy will be announced in consultation with the business community whereas new industries will be set up by making a comprehensive plan of economic development”, the manifesto states, adding that tourism will be developed as an industry. “A Special Economic Zone will be set up in Mirpur; Projects related to Mangla Dam Up-Raising will be completed. Clean water supply to the people, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries will be promoted. Forests, Climate Change Project, Revolutionary reforms will be introduced in the field of education”. The party (PTI) promised free education for children between the ages of five and sixteen. “A master plan will be formulated for permanent solution of problems like waste management, disaster management in the plains of Azad Kashmir; plans will be made to build a modern and new city in Azad Kashmir whereas the Construction Regulatory Authority will be set up to ensure safe construction”, the manifesto mentions. “Bank of Azad Kashmir will be promoted. More hydel projects will be set up in the public sector with the proceeds from royalty and water use charges”, the statement further highlights. Promises have been made to solve the problems of Kashmiri migrants who had migrated from the Indian occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir to Azad Kashmir in the nineties. Earlier, the PTI president Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry while addressing the press conference said that although a democratic system has been in place in Azad Jammu and Kashmir since 1985, yet it was unfortunate that ordinary citizens of the State could not benefit much from the system that remains largely dominated by influential people and families who have been dominating local politics for decades. “Nepotism, corruption, violation of merit and dynastic politics have adversely affected the governance system in the region”, he said. Members of the Party who were present on the occasion included Chairman of the Manifesto Committee Zulfiqar Abbasi, Secretary Information Ershad Mahmud, Major Rafiq Awan, Haniya Aftab, and Hamad Gilani.