Uplift of backward areas!

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ADDRESSING an event at Cadet College Isakhel in his home constituency Mianwali, Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed to uplift backward areas of the country by providing them basic civic amenities and improving health and education infrastructure there. This is not the first time that a sitting Prime Minister or a provincial chief minister extended such promises to people of neglected areas.
In the past also, one saw previous governments making such big claims that never materialised. The fact is that addressing problems of these areas was never their priority. And today the situation is that there are certain districts in Punjab as well as other provinces that lag far behind in development and people there have no access even to basic facilities. Situation is so worse in these areas that animals and humans can be seen drinking water at the same filthy pond. As regards education sector, many government schools exist only on paper. Off and on images emerge from these areas showing school buildings converted into drawing rooms for local landowners or cattle sheds. The situation vis-à-vis basic health unit is no different. It is really gratifying to see Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the ground breaking of a dam in Mianwali on Saturday which will be completed in two years period at a cost of Rs 3.2 billion to provide water to several tehsils of the district. But much more is required to change the landscape of the districts such as Mianwali. Special focus should be given to improve health and education infrastructure there, ensuring availability of both teachers and doctors at these facilities.
Those serving in these districts should be given special salary packages. In addition, development strategies need to be evolved in cooperation with the provincial governments to address problems of less developed areas on war footing. This will also help reduce burden on bigger cities as people currently migrate from remote and far flung areas to these cities in search of better opportunities. We will also urge the Prime Minister to personally monitor progress of development schemes in these areas, ensuring promises made this time do not remain a pipedream but fulfilled at the earliest.

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