ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday expressed his determination to bring Balochistan on the “feeling of inadequacy” that has long been felt by his people by initiating a series of development projects to cancel decades of neglect in the province.
“Ensuring peace, security and complete socio-economic development for the people of Balochistan is the top priority of my government,” he said while chairing the second meeting of the National Development Council.
The first Council meeting was held in August 2019 after its formation in June of that year.
The prime minister said he was fully aware of the problems facing people in Balochistan and expressed his commitment to reverse the situation by providing assistance and services to them in the best possible way.
“Financial resources allocated to Balochistan in the past have never been diverted towards provincial development,” he said.
The prime minister said such conditions led to bleak development in the province and caused a “feeling of deprivation” among his people.
Federal Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Mohammad Hammad Azhar, Ali Haider Zaidi, Omer Ayub Khan, Special Advisor Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, and Abdul Razak Dawood, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Chief of Staff of the Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Special Assistant to Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, and Abdul Razak Dawood, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Chief of Staff of the Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Special Assistant to Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, and Abdul Razak Dawood, Chief Balochistan Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Chief of Staff of the Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Special Assistant Lt. Gen. (ret.) Asim Saleem Bajwa, ISI Director General Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed, and other senior officials attended the meeting.
The meeting reviewed in detail several projects related to the national development agenda.
This includes the provision of communication facilities in remote Balochistan, better facilities for irrigation, agriculture, energy, and setting up a barter market to get optimal benefits from Gwadar Harbor.
The prime minister said the development of the Port of Gwadar would be a game-changer, not only for Balochistan people but also for the whole region.
“There must be a full focus on developing infrastructure, providing employment for young people, and completing the road network to benefit from the completion of Gwadar Port and CPEC,” he said.
In this case, the prime minister formed a committee consisting of Umar, Shaikh, and Chief Minister Kamal, who would submit a report to him about priority areas for development – especially in the fields of communication, agriculture, energy, and other important sectors.
The meeting also gave approval for the establishment of the Balochistan Mineral Exploration Company which would work to better utilize Balochistan mineral resources and encourage exploration activities.