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QUETTA: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that the issue of missing persons would be resolved in accordance with the law.

Addressing a ceremony after performing the groundbreaking of the dualization of I- section of 330-kms Khuzdar-Kuchlak sections of N-25 Chaman-Karachi national highway, on Saturday, he said that lack of facilities, neglect and sense of deprivation led the Balochistan province to backwardness which could be overcome through collective efforts by diversion of its due shares of energies and resources to the province.

The PM regretted that despite being gifted with huge natural resources and an important geographical location, the province had faced different challenges. He said rich with Sui natural gas reserves, the people of the province had not been given its due benefits, adding the true potential of Saindak, coal mines, Reko Diq reserves of gold and copper could be the harbinger of development and prosperity. He said Reko Diq mines exploration had remained an issue of litigation in the past, frittering away precious time and national wealth.

The Prime Minister regretted that they could not settle the issue and as a whole and individually, they had failed to meet the expectation of the people of the province.

PM Shehbaz says Balochistan's development among top priorities

The Prime Minister said that they should not live in the past and keep on repenting rather they should move ahead with unity by learning from their past experiences.

He said in the past, from 2000 to 2014, terrorism had wreaked havoc and the Baloch and Pashtuns living in the province bore the brunt like the people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. These provinces had given unmatched sacrifices against the scourge of terrorism, he said and lauded the sacrifices of the armed forces and the law enforcement agencies that had helped defeat the menace of terrorism.

The Prime Minister, referring to recent incidents of terrorism, said that they knew the factors behind it and with unity and solidarity, the nation would defeat them. He stressed upon a collective decision making power which could remove all the hurdles and enable them to confront the emerging challenges.

The Prime Minister further stressed that the narrative about South and North Balochistan should be shunned; rather it should be their priority to address core issues like lack of basic facilities. He opined that after tribal areas, this province had been the poorest one, despite having huge natural reserves, which were not tapped properly.

The Prime Minister said Reko Diq was a saga of great pain and discomfort as the country’s billions of rupees had been wasted on litigation. Other nations had excelled while Pakistan lagged behind, he expressed.

The Prime Minister said to live like an honourable nation they had to stand on their feet through achieve economic prosperity.

He said the coalition government was faced with huge challenges. However, he expressed the confidence that they would rewrite history of progress and development.

The Prime Minister urged the political leadership to think of the country and its people irrespective of the political divide.

He also announced to provide financial support under Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to about 500,000 families of the province living below the poverty line. However, he made it mandatory for the recipients to send their children to schools as they would not like to create an army of baggers but rather create a lot that should stand on their feet and turn themselves into nation builders.

The Prime Minister also asked the concerned authorities to prepare a feasibility report on the Quetta metro bus, besides the establishment of a technical university. He said to encourage the prolific students, the government would launch a laptop programme throughout the province.

About the road project, he said that this section of N-25 Khuzdar-Kuchlak road was called a bloody road due to rampant accidents. He directed the authorities to immediately initiate the whole project instead of working out a phase-wise construction.

The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that the dualization of Rs 200 billion worth of road projects would bring economic prosperity and directed for its completion within one and half years. The reconstruction and dualization of this section of the Karachi-Quetta-Chaman highway would enhance transportation among the important cities of the province, he added.

Minister for Communications Maulana Asad Mahmood said that a journey to the development of Balochistan had started and the political parties of Balochistan had reposed confidence in the Prime Minister.

Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qaddus Bizenjo expressed the confidence that under the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister, the province would witness unprecedented development.

Chairman National Highway Authority Capt. (retired) Muhammad Khurram Agha apprised that the 330-km section of the road project worth Rs 81 billion, being inaugurated today had a total length of 790-km. After completion, the project would benefit the entire population of the province and contribute in the economic uplift of the province, he told.

Acting Governor Jan Muhammad Jamali, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Housing and Works Maulana Abdul Wasey, Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti, Israr Tareen and provincial ministers were also present.


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