PM Shehbaz says Balochsitan’s development among top priorities

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Vows to raise Baloch missing persons issue with ‘powerful quarters’

The development of Balochistan was among the top priorities of the incumbent government, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Saturday.

The prime minister said that the talented manpower of the province had been a precious asset for the country and directed to ensure monitoring of the ongoing uplift projects in the province.

The prime minister’s statement came as he chaired a meeting to review the administrative situation of the province during his day-long trip to the province.

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Communication Maulana Asad Mehmood and Minister for Housing and Works Maulana Abdul Wasey, Minister for Narcotics Shahzain Bugti, Israr Tareen, Acting Governor Jan Muhammad Jamali, Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, provincial ministers, and relevant authorities attended the meeting. The chief secretary gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister on the ongoing development projects and the law and order situation.

The prime minister was apprised that a huge chunk of the population in the province was living below the poverty line due to a lack of employment opportunities. The government was undertaking different development projects and giving priority to the locals in job opportunities, said the chief secretary.

The participants of the meeting presented various proposals and suggested making an announcement over a comprehensive package for the province.

The proposals also pertained to the promotion of tourism around the coastal highway, and the establishment of professional training institutions for imparting education and training to the local manpower.

The meeting participants welcomed the prime minister on his first visit to the province and lauded him for including the development of the province among the government’s top priorities.

The prime minister opined that through off-the-grid projects, the power shortage problem in the province could be resolved and assured that he would not rest till the province was brought at par with the rest of the provinces in terms of development.

The prime minister also sought the cooperation of the provincial cabinet as it would ensure the implementation of the projects.

PM Shehbaz said the people of Balochistan had rights over the natural resources, adding that he would also relaunch the stipend programme for the students of the province.

He said that they would have to work for the collective uplift of the whole province, especially its backward areas.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said that he would take up the issue of Baloch missing persons with the “powerful quarters”.

He expressed these views while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Quetta-Karachi highway after arriving on his maiden visit to Balochistan earlier today. He also chaired a high-level meeting on law and order situation in the provincial capital.

Shehbaz assured that he would raise his voice about the issue of missing persons. “I want to see laptops in the hands of Baloch students rather than weapons,” he said. The prime minister added that his government has planned a number of development schemes to bring Balochistan at par with other parts of the country. Balochistan belongs to Balochs, Pashtuns and other ethnic groups and covers half of the country in terms of area. “We want to address the grievances of the masses here,” he said. The premier noted that despite having less and scattered population as compared to other areas of the country, the province was still not developed.

Shehbaz recalled that the people of Balochistan have faced the brunt of terrorism in the past and scores of precious human lives have been lost in the terrorist attacks.

He said that peace has returned to the province following the sacrifices of the security forces in the province.

Balochistan National Party (BNP) chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Chief Minister Mir Quddus Bizenjo, acting Governor Mir Jan Muhammad Jamali, federal ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Maulana Asad Mehmood, Agha Hassan Baloch, Maulana Abdul Wasey and other high-level officials were also present on the occasion.

 

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