PM Imran announces 15pc raise in salaries of FC and Rangers personnel during Naushki visit

Published February 8, 2022
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses a ceremony in Naushki. — DawnNewsTV
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses a ceremony in Naushki. — DawnNewsTV
Prime Minister Imran Khan meets Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo on Monday. — Photo courtesy PTI Twitter
Prime Minister Imran Khan meets Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo on Monday. — Photo courtesy PTI Twitter

Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Tuesday a 15 per cent increase in the salaries of Frontier Corps (FC) and Rangers personnel.

The premier made the announcement while addressing a ceremony in Naushki, where four members of the armed forces, including an officer, were martyred last week during a terrorist attack on a security forces' camp.

Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa was also present on the occasion.

At the outset of his speech, PM Imran paid tributes to the "heroes who neutralised terrorists and saved lives" during the last week's attacks.

"I am in Naushki today to give army jawans the message that the entire nation is standing with them," he said.

He commended the country's armed forces for their performance in the war on terror, saying that the manner in which they had fought the war and protected the country in "challenging times" was unrivalled.

None of the other defence forces anywhere else in the world, including Afghanistan, matched the calibre of Pakistan's armed forces, he added.

"The nation is confident now that terrorism cannot prosper in Pakistan. I want to tell you (armed forces) on behalf of the entire nation ... we are confident that no [act of] terrorism can cause any harm to the country."

The premier then announced a 15pc increase in the salaries of FC and Rangers personnel, acknowledging that inflation had been growing in the country.

But, he added, the entire world was witnessing a "storm of inflation" at present and even developed nations like the US and Britain, which had more resources than Pakistan, were seeing highest inflation in years.

"I do realise that the salaried class is facing difficulties and I assure you that we want to [improve] the economic situation so that we are able to further increase people's salaries," he said, adding that however, the government was helpless in some aspects.

For instance, he said, there had been an increase in fuel prices internationally. "And Pakistan imports it. So what can we do in Pakistan" if the prices increased globally, he added.

PM Imran then again gave the assurance that his government would increase salaries with the increase in revenues.

In this regard, he also urged businesses and large corporations to increase the salaries of their employees.

Speaking about Balochistan, the premier claimed that no "democratic government" had invested funds and carried out development work in the province more than his.

Presently, he said, his government had allocated funds for the construction of a highway that would link Chaman, Quetta and Karachi.

Describing it as one of the biggest projects for the province, he said it would immensely benefit Balochistan.

"Balochistan is lagging behind [the rest of the country] ... and so, we aim to focus on it and funnel funds to the province as our revenue increases," he said. "We will carry out development work here to such an extent that nobody will listen to elements who provoke people here against the government and armed forces."

He further said that during his recent visit to China, President Xi Jinping had assured him that the next phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would benefit Balochistan the most. He added that technology transfer, information technology and industrialisation would be covered under the next phase of CPEC.

Moreover, the premier said, China was also fully supporting Pakistan in the agriculture sector. And "if we manage to increase our output even by half of the current production, we will be exporting agriculture produce," he said.

PM given briefing on security situation

In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the Balochistan chief minister and governor as well as federal and provincial ministers accompanied the prime minister on his visit to Naushki.

The military's media affairs wing said that the prime minister was given a "detailed briefing" on the security situation in the area.

"In his interaction with troops, PM paid rich tribute to the martyrs and their families for their ultimate sacrifices for Pakistan. PM lauded the professionalism exhibited by the troops and appreciated the operational preparedness and bravery with which terrorists’ attacks were repulsed," the statement said.

PM Imran also reiterated the national resolve to support the armed forces in "eliminating the remnants of terrorists trying to sabotage the development of Balochistan".

The ISPR quoted the premier as saying: "Through a comprehensive national effort, cooperation between federal and provincial governments and assistance of armed forces, we shall realise [the] true potential of Balochistan”.

Later, he met with tribal elders and acknowledged their unwavering support in the fight against terrorism and facilitating government initiatives being taken to bring prosperity and development to Balochistan, the statement said.

"He assured jirga members of continued sincere support for [the] timely completion of development projects in Balochistan. PM stressed that [the] development of Balochistan [was the] priority and critical for [the] future of Pakistan," the statement concluded.

Earlier today, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry shared that the weekly meeting of the federal cabinet had been cancelled because of the premier's Balochistan visit.

Paying tribute to the armed forces, he said, "Soldiers whose determination is higher than the mountains and passion deeper than the sea are our pride and respect. These sons of Pakistan are ready to sacrifice for the motherland."

Naushki, Panjgur attacks

Terrorists had on Feb 2 attempted to attack security forces' camps in Panjgur and Naushki in two separate incidents. However, security forces had repulsed both the attacks and killed 20 terrorists in a subsequent clearance operation.

In Panjgur, terrorists had tried to enter a security forces' camp from two locations. "However, timely response by troops foiled their attempt. During intense exchange of fire one soldier embraced martyrdom," the ISPR had said.

In Naushki, according to the ISPR, terrorists attempted to enter a Frontier Corps (FC) camp which was "promptly responded", adding that four terrorists were killed as a result.

The statement had said one officer was injured during the shootout.

A day later, the ISPR said the clearance operation in Balochistan, which was launched after the attacks, had been completed.

A total of 20 terrorists were killed during operations following the attacks, the military's media affairs wing had said in a statement, adding that nine security personnel had embraced martyrdom.

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