QUETTA: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Planning Commission to prepare another special development package for the development of northern Balochistan as was done for southern districts of the province.
He issued these instructions during a meeting with Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo in Islamabad on Friday.
Informed sources said that the prime minister during his meeting with Mr Bizenjo discussed various issues, including the development and financial needs of the province, and reviewed the pace of work and implementation of the federal government-funded development projects, including Rs600 billion development package for nine southern districts of the province, which had been announced by the prime minister after his visit to Turbat.
The sources quoted the prime minister as saying that bringing Balochistan on a par with other development areas of the country and removing the sense of deprivation of the people of Balochistan was the priority of the PTI government.
He expressed his anger over Wapda and National Highway Authority for causing delay in connecting Makran with the national grid and implementation of the federal government development projects in Balochistan.
He directed the planning commission, Wapda and NHA to accelerate the pace of work on these projects.
“No hurdle and negligence will be tolerated in the uplift projects of Balochistan,” the prime minister warned.
Chief Minister Bizenjo briefed the prime minister about the financial position, development issues, implementation on the federal government-funded projects and other needs of the province.
He also informed him about the unemployment issues in border areas of Balochistan due to closure of borders with neighbouring countries.
He said that thousands of people had been rendered jobless and deprived of earning their livelihood due to stoppage of barter and border trade with the two neighboring countries.
Mr Bizenjo said that arrangements for providing employment opportunities to the people of border areas was imperative so that they could be able to earn their bread and butter till the implementation of border markets’ establishment plan with Iran and Afghanistan.
The sources said the prime minister directed the federal institutions to take immediate steps for restoring barter and border trade activities in the border areas.
The prime minister also directed agencies concerned for immediate resumption of trade activities in border areas of Balochistan.
Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2021