PM forms panel on Balochistan uplift plans

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday constituted a three-member committee to suggest priority areas for development in Balochistan with special focus on communications, agriculture, energy and other important sectors and submit a report in this regard.

The committee comprising Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh was constituted by the prime minister while presiding over the second meeting of the National Development Council (NDC), according to a handout issued by the PM Office.

The meeting also approved the setting up of the Balochistan Mineral Exploration Company which would work for better utilisation of mineral resources of the province and boost exploration activities.

Those attended the meeting included Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Hammad Azhar, Ports and Shipping Minister Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for Energy Omer Ayub Khan, PM’s advisers Hafeez Sheikh and Abdul Razak Dawood, Mr Alyani, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Special Assistant to the PM on Information retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa and Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen Faiz Hameed.

Speaking to the participants of the meeting, Prime Minister Khan expressed his resolve to end the sense of deprivation among the people of Balochistan by launching a series of development projects and undo the neglect of decades towards the province. He said ensuring complete peace, security and socio-economic development for the people of Balochistan was key priorities of his government.

The prime minister said he was fully cognisant of the problems of the people of Balochistan and expressed commitment to turning around the situation by providing them relief and services in the best possible manner. He said financial resources allocated for Balochistan in the past were never diverted towards the development of the province. Such state of affairs led to dismal development in the province and was a cause of sense of deprivation among its people, he added.

The meeting reviewed several projects relating to the national development agenda. These included provision of means of communications in the remote areas of Balochistan, better facilities for irrigation, agriculture and energy and setting up of barter markets to get optimal benefit from the Gwadar Port.

Mr Khan said the development of Gwadar Port would be a game changer for not only the people of Balochistan, but also for the entire region. He said it was vital that there was complete focus on development of infrastructure, provision of employment for the youth and completion of road networks so as to benefit from completion of the Gwadar Port and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Meetings with CMs, governor

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and discussed with him the overall situation and development projects in the province, a PM Office press release said.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, along with chief organiser of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Saifullah Khan Nyazee, also called on the prime minister and apprised him of the administrative matters and organisational affairs of Punjab and sought his directives regarding future course of action.

According to a handout issued by the Central Media Department, issues pertaining to the PTI’s political strategy in Punjab and governance in the province came under discussion during the meeting which was held at the Prime Minister’s House.

Parliamentary boards

The PTI constituted an eight-member parliamentary board to determine its candidates for upcoming elections for the Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly.

According to a notification, PTI’s senior vice president Arshad Dad has been appointed chairman of the board whose members included Ali Amin Gandapur, Syed Jaffar Shah, Shah Nasir and Fateullah Khan.

Raja Jahanzeb, Khalid Khursheed and Wazir Walayat have been included as ex-officio members in the parliamentary board.

Likewise, a parliamentary board to finalise candidate for by-polls in PP-51, Wazirabad, has also been announced by the party under Arshad Dad. The members of the board are Mian Mehmood Rasheed, Rai Hassan Nawaz, Ilyas Chaudhry and Ali Ashraf Mughal. PTI’s Central Punjab president Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhry will be ex-officio member of the parliamentary board.

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