Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir while expressing his gratitude to the management of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for taking keen interest in socioeconomic development of Azad Kashmir stressed that SBP should further play its role in promotion of tourism and infrastructure development in the state. He said this during his meeting with Chief and Deputy Chief Manager of the State Bank of Pakistan AJK branch, Salim Abbasi and Wahid Akram Butt who called on him at President House here on Thursday. Describing Azad Kashmir as the most fertile soil suitable to produce a good yield of high quality flowers and to grow orchids, President Masood said that our farmers need adequate financial support to get better results from their cultivable lands. He said that economic development in the liberated area can be accelerated by growing flowering and ornamental plants for commercial purpose and in this way we can also empower our farming community besides addressing the problem of unemployment. He said promotion and development of tourism is another area that needs to be assisted by State Bank. President Masood Khan said that AJK government gives top priority to the development of infrastructure to make the places of tourists’ attraction accessible by improving the quality of road networks and providing better boarding and lodging facilities to the tourists. “AJK with assortment of fabulous landscape and hospitable climate can be turned into a tourist hub. Keeping in view this fact, a project of tourism corridor in Azad Kashmir would be launched soon to turn the region into a tourist hub, he maintained. The tourism corridor being away from LoC would be the safest place for the potential tourists to visit and stay without any fear or sense of insecurity. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Manager State Bank assured that State Bank of Pakistan under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program would continue to extend support to the state government for economic and social well being of the people of Azad Kashmir. The bank will provide all possible assistance in the areas of reforestation, tourism promotion and hydropower generation in the state. They said that SBP has already started a reforestation project in Dulai area along the Muzaffarabad- Kohala Road and similar project would also be started in others parts of AJK.