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Govt to bring positive change in Balochistan: Imran Khan

07 October, 2018

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Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday said his government was committed to bring a positive change in the lives of the people of Balochistan, as it believed that progress of the country’s largest province was directly linked to the prosperity of Pakistan.

Addressing a gathering of retired judges, members of civil society and senior officials here at the Governor’s House, the prime minister said his party was against the progress of a selected group of people, a particular area or a certain segment of society as it violated the basic principles of justice and equality. He regretted that the previous governments and different political parties exploited the deprivation of the people of Balochistan for their personal gains and did little in practical terms to improve the life of the common man.

He asked the political leadership of Balochistan to rise to the occasion and bring about a real change. He mentioned success of his party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and attributed it to the success of its local government system. He urged the local leaders to emulate the Village Council model of KP, saying that they need to be provided funds directly to enable them serve the people and address their basic issues. The local leaders are the best judges of the problems of the people of their areas and they are needed to be empowered fully, he added.

He appreciated the commitment shown by Chief Minister Jam Kamal and his team and expressed confidence that they would fully exploit the potential of the resource-rich province and bring it at par with the developed areas of the country. He said completion of Kaachi Canal would irrigate 0.8 million acres of land and help the province and the country address its food security concerns.

Imran extended full support of the federal government to the provincial government in addressing any shortcoming in building its capacity. He pointed to the brain drain from Balochistan due to acts of terrorism in the past and said with improvement in situation, people would return.

He said there was an urgent need to establish a cancer hospital in Quetta so that the people did not have to travel far to get treatment. He said he would soon chair a meeting for a feasibility of the project and send a team of the Shaukat Khanum Hospital for initial study in this regard.

The prime minister said he had also discussed the issue of provision of health facilities with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who had assured to assist the provincial government in meeting any shortage of doctors.

Imran Khan said no nation can progress without eradicating corruption from all tiers of society. Corruption erodes national economy and destroys state institutions, he added.He said today Pakistan was under a heavy debt of Rs 28,000 billion, up from Rs 6,000 10 years ago, just because of rampant corrupt practices.

He cited the example of China which threw behind bars around 400 of its ministers and hundreds of thousands of government officials who were involved in corrupt practices. He said today majority of the government-run corporations were running in losses of billions only because the previous governments appointed their cronies on hefty packages without any consideration.

He said it was the time that the provincial government of Balochistan focus on fully exploiting the estimated Rs 450 billion worth of minerals, besides benefiting from the Gwadar port and its oil and gas reserves. He assured that Balochistan would get more than its due share in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. During a visit to the headquarters of the Southern Command at Quetta Cantt, the prime minister acknowledged and appreciated the contributions of security forces towards improving peace, stability and socio-economic development of Balochistan.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa received the prime minister at Quetta Air Base.

The prime minister said that through a comprehensive national effort, cooperation between federal and provincial governments and assistance of the Pakistan Army true potentials of Balochistan will be realised. He said only a cohesive national effort would take provinces and the country to the rightful destination of peace, progress and prosperity.

A detailed briefing on security situation of the province, challenges and response was given. The prime minister was also briefed about socio-economic development based Khushal Balochistan program, security of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and progress of fencing along Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The COAS said that having achieved stability in troubled areas of KP, focus of the security forces had shifted towards Balochistan, which was economic future of Pakistan.

Later, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of Balochistan cabinet in which he was briefed about different uplift projects aimed at economic and social uplift of the province.

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