ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said Pakistan cannot make progress without developing and uplifting the Balochistan province.
He expressed these views during a meeting with Balochistan Governor Malik Abdul Wali Kakar.
The prime minister also held separate meetings with Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, and others.
During the meeting with Mr Kakar, the premier said that the development and welfare of Balochistan was among the priorities of his government.
PM Shehbaz in his meeting with CM Shah said the federal government would ensure early completion of all development projects in Sindh.
He said that the Thar coal project would not only help overcome the country’s energy needs but also open up new avenues for development in the area.
He said the Centre and the provincial government would have to make collective efforts for the public welfare.
Federal ministers Ahsan Iqbal and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq also attended the meeting.
The PM also held a meeting with Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, who called on Mr Sharif.
During the meeting, they discussed professional matters pertaining to armed forces, a PM Office statement said.
PM Shehbaz visited the residence of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, to inquire after his health.
Federal Minister for Communications Maulana Asad Mehmood and Maulana Lutfur Rehman were also present at the meeting.
Mr Sharif prayed for the early recovery of the JUI-F leader and expressed best wishes for him.
The two leaders also discussed the political situation in the country.
Meanwhile, the prime minister instructed the foreign ministry to remain fully engaged with the US government and Pakistan’s mission in Washington, for Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s well-being and for her early release.
The matter was discussed when Dr Aafia’s sister, Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, called on the prime minister here.
Dr Fauzia thanked the prime minister for receiving her.
She appreciated the measures the government was taking for Dr Aafia’s well-being and requested the government to redouble its efforts for early release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
In a separate meeting with Pro-Vice Chancellor, International Learning and Teaching, University of London, Prof Mary Stiasny, the prime minister said that provision of higher education of international standard to the country’s youth was among one of the government’s top priorities.
He said the government was providing equal opportunities for development to all youngsters.
Mr Sharif lauded services of Prof Stiasny for promoting higher education in the country.
Prof Stiasny highlighted the steps being taken by the University of London to promote higher education in Pakistan which were appreciated by the prime minister.
Chairman of Higher Education Commission Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and relevant senior officers attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, the prime minister expressed sorrow over the loss of lives in Turkiye heavy rains and flood.
Expressing solidarity with the government and people of Turkiye, the prime minister said that Pakistan stood with the brotherly country in its every difficult hour.
Mr Sharif said that the government would help Turkiye in all possible ways. He conveyed sympathy and condolence to families of those killed in the flood.
Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2023