QUETTA: Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan and federal ministers attend a briefing during a visit to Southern Command Headquarters on Saturday.—INP
QUETTA: Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan and federal ministers attend a briefing during a visit to Southern Command Headquarters on Saturday.—INP

QUETTA: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his government is reviewing the projects falling under the umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with a view to removing the reservations of the government and people of Balochistan.

His government was committed to ensuring that the province got its due share in the CPEC projects, he said on Saturday evening during his first visit to the provincial capital after assuming the office of prime minister.

Speaking at a function held at the Chief Minister House here, Mr Khan said the province had a number of reservations about the mega project, and added: “Balochistan will get its due share, whatever it may be, in the CPEC.”

PM promises that Balochistan’s objections to mega project will be addressed; COAS says after stabilising militancy-hit areas in KP, military has turned its attention to country’s largest province

All-out efforts would be made and all available resources utilised for the development of the province and for removing a sense of deprivation among its people, who were ignored by the previous governments, said the premier.

Balochistan Governor retired Justice Amanullah Khan Yasinzai, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, federal Ministers Fawad Chaudhary, Shahryar Khan and Khusro Bakhtiar, and deputy speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Suri were prominent among those who attended the event.

The biggest problem confronting the province was corruption, said the prime minister and added that without getting rid of the menace Balochistan could not make progress. “Corruption can be curbed through strengthening the country’s anti-corruption institutions.”

He urged Chief Minister Alyani to take steps to strengthen the anti-corruption department for eradicating corruption from the province.

Mr Khan was of the opinion that past governments had brought Balochistan to the brink of disaster by appointing incompetent and corrupt people to key positions.

He said that Balochistan was badly ignored in the past and the parties that ruled the province did “nothing to solve its problems”. “We will not allow this and Balochistan will be transformed into a new province, just as the entire country will be.”

Mr Khan said the federal government would extend all possible help to the provincial government for resolving its financial and other crises.

The province needed investment for bringing about improvement in its financial affairs. “Pakistan‘s development is linked to Balochistan’s development and prosperity,” the prime minister said.

The federal and provincial governments would take steps to bring back to the province the people who had left it due to terrorism and violence, he said. A new type of local government would be introduced in Balochistan just as it was being introduced in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Prime Minister Khan also chaired a meeting of the provincial cabinet at which he was briefed about the problems being faced by the province and the various development projects.

Chief Minister Alyani welcomed the prime minister on behalf of his cabinet members and thanked him for taking keen interest in the affairs of the province, said an official press release.

Military briefing

The prime minister praised the security forces for improving the security situation in Balochistan and said if the armed forces and the federal and provincial governments mounted concerted efforts, the province could realise its full potential.

Mr Khan stated this during a briefing at the headquarters of the army’s Southern Command soon after arriving in the provincial capital. Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and other senior military officers received him when he reached the airbase here.

A statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations said the prime minister, who was accompanied during the visit by Chief Minister Alyani, was briefed on the security situation in the province and the challenges faced by its government and people.

He was also briefed on the progress made in implementing the Khushhal Balochistan programme, erecting a fence along the Pak-Afghan border and securing the CPEC projects.

The army chief said that after stabilising the militancy-hit areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the military had lately turned its attention to Balochistan, which was the “economic future of the country”.

Prime Minister Khan said that through a comprehensive national effort and cooperation between federal and provincial governments and assistance from the army “we shall realise the true potential of Balochistan”.

He added that only a concerted national effort could take the country to its “rightful destination of peace, progress and prosperity”.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2018