'Crucial to fully implement National Action Plan,' PM says in meeting with Hazara affectees of Quetta blast
Prime Minister Imran Khan met the loved ones of the victims of the Hazarganji market blast — which targeted members of the Hazara community earlier this month — during a brief visit to Quetta on Sunday.
The premier met the delegation of the Hazara community at the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering, and Management Sciences (BUITEMS), where he also launched a project of the government's flagship housing programme.
According to PTI's official account, Fatiha was "offered for the martyrs of the recent blast. Prime Minister listened to the issues of Hazara brethren and assured state will ensure their protection".
Imran during the meeting assured the Hazara citizens that his government was determined to eliminate terrorism and extremism from the country.
"The prime minister said it is crucial to ensure the full implementation of the National Action Plan," a press release issued by the Press Information Department said.
Terming the Hazarganji attack "extreme cruelty", the premier condoled with the families of the victims and said that there was no alternative to the loss of human lives.
"It is the duty of the federal and provincial governments to provide complete protection to the citizens of the country," he was quoted as saying.
He stressed that some elements wanted to create discord among the public and spread chaos "but we all have to thwart the impure designs of the enemy together".
"We are standing with you," Prime Minister Imran assured the relatives of the victims, adding that the terrorists involved in the attack would be brought to book and "no concession will be given" in the process to establish peace.
The premier also announced a five per cent quota in the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme for the families of those killed in the Hazarganji attack.
After the meeting, the premier laid the foundation stone of a housing project under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani at the launch ceremony thanked the premier for his visit to the province. The participants of the ceremony observed a minute of silence for the victims of last week's blast.
'More than 5 million houses'
Addressing the ceremony in connection with the project under which 110,000 houses will be constructed in Balochistan, Prime Minister Imran said that the housing schemes are being launched to facilitate the poor who cannot afford to buy or build a house.
"A big cause of corruption in Pakistan is that a salaried person can't afford his or her own house," he said, adding that the government was making the houses for the same segments.
He said that the government would legislate to make it easy for people to acquire loans from banks for housing. "In several regions of Europe, 80 to 90 per cent people; in Malaysia 30pc; and in India 10pc of the populace have access to bank loans while in Pakistan less than zero per cent people are able to get a loan for housing."
"We are also bringing in the private sector to the housing projects," he said, adding that the government may construct more than five million houses during its five years as "companies from Malaysia, China and UK want to invest" in these schemes.
He asked students to launch construction companies and tap into the housing sector. "Instead of waiting for government jobs, launch your own businesses," he advised the pupils.
The premier said: "Our founding father had called it a modern Islamic welfare state. In Madina, the weak segments [of society] were uplifted and we have to do the same."
"Pakistan could not become a great country because there were two laws in the country," he said.
Talking about economic resources, he said that the total tax collection of the country is Rs4.5 trillion, out of which Rs2tr is spent on "payments of loans the previous governments had taken".
He assured the participants of the ceremony that the country will come out of the difficult times as the government is "moving in the right direction".
The prime minister's visit comes more than a week after 20 people lost their lives and 48 others received injuries in a blast believed to be targeting members of the Hazara community in Quetta's Hazarganji market.
The attack on April 12 claimed the lives of nine Hazara and one Frontier Corps (FC) soldier who was deputed for the community's security. The 10 others who lost their lives included shopkeepers, businessmen and citizens working or residing in the area.
Members of the Shia Hazara community following the Hazarganji suicide bombing held a sit-in, demanding that Prime Minister Imran come to Quetta and assure them of protection and impartial implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).