Monday, January 19, 2015

Development of Balochistan is close to my heart: PM Nawaz

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif - SOURCE: Facebook

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that both federal and provincial governments are making all-out efforts to enhance growth and development in Balochistan in order to make it a prosperous and peaceful region.

"The development of Balochistan is close to my heart," said the premier, while addressing the Balochistan Development Forum, adding that resources have been provided to support the efforts of the provincial government in the province, despite constraints.

The prime minister said that Balochistan's share in the NFC Award has been enhanced from 5.11 to 9.9 per cent.

He also mentioned that the budget allocation for development in the public sector has also been enhanced.

"During the current financial year, Rs.61 billion has been allocated which is 37 per cent higher than the allocation of the financial year of 2012-13," said the PM.

He said that during the past one and a half year, there has been an improvement in the socio-political situation of Balochistan.

He gave examples of the reconstruction of Ziarat Residency, successful local government elections, rehabilitation of Awaran earthquake affectees and implementation of major projects undertaken to improve infrastructure and security in the region.

"In the past year, the federal government released 100 per cent funds to Balochistan for its development and non-development activities," he said adding that, "Development projects that are under way to improve Gwadar's infrastructure will make Balochistan a hub of trading and a notable destination for regional and international investment."

Balochistan will be main beneficiary under China-Pak economic corridor: PM

The prime minister said that Balochistan, which is becoming Pakistan's regional hub for trade in good and energy, will be the main beneficiary under the China-Pakistan economic corridor.

"These initiatives, we hope, will bring about a socio-economic revolution for the people of Balochistan," said Sharif.

"Similarly to meet the electricity demand, we plan to set up a 300 megawatt power corridor in Gwadar," said the premier, adding that two additional 220kv transmission lines have been finalised in Dado Khuzdar and DG Khan Loralai. These initiatives are to help reduce failures of electricity distribution in Balochistan, he said.

The premier also spoke about improvement in higher education, mentioning that universities in Lasbela, Quetta, Loralai and Turbat are being financed along with upgrading infrastructure in the institutes.

"Special provisions have been made for scholarships for the students of Balochistan," said Sharif.

He further mentioned that Rs500 million has been allocated for the establishment of cold storage facilities in Turbat, considering agriculture and livestock are the backbone of Balochistan.

The premier said that the government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against terrorism, and will make all efforts to wipe out militancy from the country.

After 9/11, Pakistan had to face huge security challenges: PM

While concluding his address, the premier stated that after 9/11, Pakistan had to face huge security challenges.

"Terrorism has taken a toll on tens of thousands of lives and has caused losses to our economy of over $100 billion," said Sharif adding that, "Financial resources which could have been spent on development, especially schools and health centres, had to be diverted to security."

"We will leave no stone unturned, to make sure that all areas of Pakistan, particularly Fata, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan are cleansed of all kinds of terrorists, militants and violent extremists," he said.

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