Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Sunday inaugurated the Jhelum Valley Tourism Festival in picturesque Jhelum valley district of AJK. He was flanked by his cabinet members, Education Minister Diwan Ali Khan Chughtai, local elder Zeeshan Haider and other notables of the valley. Addressing the inaugural function, Sardar Tanveer Ilyas said that AJK has vast potential for tourism. Reiterating his government’s commitment to capitalize the state’s untapped potential, he said that promotion of the tourism sector was one of his top priorities. Referring to the Jhelum valley’s scenic beauty, the AJK PM said promotion of tourism in the valley would provide ample business and employment opportunities. He congratulated Zeeshan Haider for organizing the grand Festival. “Zeeshan Haider is a capable and talented young man”, he added. Sardar Tanveer Ilyas on the occasion, announced to provide funds of 10 million for the festival. The AJK government, he said, would take advantage of the area’s huge tourism potential, and utilize all its resources to turn Jhelum Valley into a tourist hub. Pertinently, the 15-day festival is scheduled to begin in mid-July on the sidelines of Eid al-Adha festival. Dozens of adventure sports, including water rafting and mountaineering, will be part of this grand festival. The event, which is likely to attract over 50,000 tourists, will provide employment opportunities to thousands of people in the area, where more than 100 tourist destinations have been delineated. Addressing the function, Education Minister Diwan Ali Khan Chughtai said that there are immense opportunities for promotion of tourism in Jhelum Valley. “Tourism and health resorts will be set up in Chakar, Lepa, Khalana, Chakoti, Chak Hama”, he said. Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan had embarked on a journey of development and prosperity of the AJK, he added. Parliamentary Secretary Prof. Taqdees Gilani said that the government was taking steps on priority basis to capitalize the potential of tourism in Azad Jammu Kashmir. Commissioner Muzaffarabad Division Masood-ur-Rehman, DG Tourism Rashid Hanif, Zain Gilani Advocate and others also addressed the inaugural function.