Stability, prosperity in Balochistan top priority: PM Ashraf
03 July, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Proclaiming Balochistan was top on his list of priorities, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Monday said bringing stability and prosperity in the province would be the top priority of his government.
Chairing his first meeting on Balochistan crisis as prime minister, Raja said the self-styled independence of federal agencies is being checked by ensuring that they do not act independently in connection with law and order. He said the federal agencies were meant to provide assistance to the provincial government as and when required.
The prime minister further said that he had invited the Baloch leadership for dialogue to address all their grievances within the framework of federation. "I will soon visit Balochistan with a view to find out an acceptable solution of the Balochistan problem after holding detailed discussion with all the stakeholders," he announced.
Raja directed the law minister to hold a meeting on Tuesday (today) exclusively on missing persons' issue. It would be attended by secretaries of defence, interior, law, Balochistan chief secretary, FC IG, IB DG, head of ISI in Balochistan and the provincial police IG. He also directed the Ministry of Finance and Planning Commission to prioritise the projects in Balochistan having direct bearings on the people of the province.
In this regard, the prime minister said that the road from Gwadar to Rato Dero, Kacchi Canal, RCD Highway, solar tube wells, etc, should be given due consideration. Raja noted Balochistan was an important part of the country and because of its strategic location, the maintenance of peace there was of utmost importance.
He said the federal government was fully aware of the past excesses against the people and the province which, he said, caused a serious sense of deprivation among the local populace. "The Pakistan People's Party has been taking into account seriously the factors resulting in discontentment of the people of Balochistan and continuing unrest here, since assumption of power," Raja added.
A cabinet committee under the chairmanship of Senator Mian Raza Rabbani was constituted to analyse the needs of Balochistan and to very minutely review the situation and firm up recommendations for reduction in the sense of alienation and deprivation. Raja stated that the present government, besides moving towards the solution of the issues and meeting the demands of the people of Balochistan, had tendered an unconditional apology to them.
He said the federal government had committed 6,000 scholarships for the youth of the province for higher studies within the country and abroad, and was especially focusing on establishment of vocational and technical training centres at the provincial and divisional headquarters of the province.
The premier noted the government had committed Rs 1 billion for the rehabilitation of IDPs of Dera Bugti District. Noting seriousness of the politically motivated activities in Balochistan, the premier said the graph of conventional crimes in the province was also on the rise, and the government had sanctioned 3,000 posts of federal Levies for maintenance of law and order and highway security.