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The development of Balochistan is close to my heart: PM

19 January, 2015

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ISLAMABAD - "The development of Balochistan is close to my heart," said the prime minister, while addressing the Balochistan Development Forum here Monday 19,January,2015, adding that resources have been provided to support the efforts of the provincial government in the province, despite constraints. He said that Balochistan's share in NFC Award has been enhanced from 5.11 to 9.9 per cent.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said despite financial constraints, the government is providing substantial funds to the socio economic uplift and development of Balochistan.

Nawaz said that sixty one billion rupees has been allocated for the province under Public Sector Development Fund during the current financial year which was thirty seven per cent higher than the last fiscal year. He said that fifteen billion rupees have been earmarked in the annual development program as a special development package for Balochistan.

The prime minister said that the province lagged behind in socio economic development due to the neglect of the past. He said that Balochistan was central to Pakistan becoming a regional hub for trade in goods and energy, adding that its strategic location makes it pivotal both for the East-West as well as for the North-South trade routes. He said that Balochistan would be the main beneficiary under the China-Pakistan economic corridor project.

He said that developing Gwadar port, Gwadar port city and allied infrastructure including a modern new airport there will make Gwadar a hub of not only our national but also regional trade. He added that establishment of free trade zones and special economic zones will underpin its prospects to become an attractive destination for foreign and domestic investment.

Nawaz said that the federal government was also financing and implementing a number of projects to address gaps in infrastructure as well as human development indicators in the province. He said that one hundred and forty two projects in different sectors are being supported in the province through the federal development program.

He said that the federal government has launched a project costing four billion rupees in collaboration with the provincial government for construction of houses for quake victims of Awaran district, adding that a three hundred megawatt power plant is planned to be set up in Gwadar. He said that special provision has been made for scholarships for the students of Balochistan under Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e Balochistan package.

The prime minister said that five hundred million rupees has also been released for establishment of cold storage facility at Turbat. He said that Reko Diq has huge copper and gold deposits which will bring in prosperity for the people of the province. He said that the federal government was determined to give full support to the provincial government to resolve the issue of Reko Dik at the earliest and to start the project in the shortest possible time.

On the issue of terrorism, Nawaz said that it has taken a heavy toll of tens of thousands of human lives and caused a loss of about one hundred billion dollars to the economy. He said that the government was committed to wipe out terrorism in all its shades and hues and had adopted a zero tolerance policy against the militants. "Our operation Zarb-e-Azb and allied counter terrorism initiatives across the country will help cleanse Pakistan particularly tribal areas, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan from violent terrorism," he said.

Nawaz made it clear that Pakistan would neither allow anyone to use its territory against any other country nor would tolerate if terrorists use foreign soil for the terrorist activities in Pakistan. In his address, Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai said that the provincial government was making efforts to exploit the natural resources of the province in the short and medium term.

He said that the exploitation of natural resources and development of agriculture sector and fisheries will generate many new job opportunities and reduce poverty. He said that the development forum was intended to showcase the true potential of the province including its rich culture. In his remarks, Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik invited international investors to invest in different sectors for the development of the province. He said that Balochistan could guarantee a strong and peaceful future for Pakistan and expressed the confidence the federal government will help in expediting the exploration of natural resources.

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