ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that the Government despite its financial constraints will make sure that public welfare programme of Balochistan is funded appropriately.
He was chairing a meeting on Balochistan at Prime Minister’s Secretariat here on Monday which reviewed progress on Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan, its development issues and Law & Order situation in Balochistan.
At the very outset the Prime Minister categorically declared that Balochistan issue is on his priority list and he has invited disgruntled Baloch leaders to start dialogue with the Government to resolve the crisis at the earliest. He said bringing stability and prosperity in Balochistan would be the top priority of my Government.
The Prime Minister emphasized that Balochistan is an important part of the country and because of its strategic location the maintenance of peace there is of utmost importance. He said the Federal Government is fully aware of the past excesses made to the people and the Province which caused a serious sense of deprivation. He said Pakistan Peoples Party has been taking into account seriously the factors resulting in discontentment of the people of Balochistan and continuing unrest since assumption of power.
Raja Parvez Ashraf said the Government introduced Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package in 2009 with 61 reforms proposals in the categories of Constitutional, Administrative, Political and Economic matters. A Cabinet Committee under the chairmanship of Senator Mian Raza Rabbani was also constituted to analyze the needs of the Balochistan Province and to very minutely review the situation and firm up its recommendations for reduction in the sense of alienation and deprivation.
The Prime Minister said the present Government besides moving towards the solution of the issues/meeting the demands, has tendered an unconditional apology to the people of Balochistan. He said the self styled independence of Federal Agencies is being checked and it will be ensured that the Federal Agencies should not act independently in connection with law & order issue rather they should provide assistance to the Provincial Government in aid to civil power as and when required.
Turning to development projects, Raja Parvez Ashraf said the financing of mega projects of Gwadar Ratu Dero Road (M-8), Kachhi Canal, Gawadar Deep sea port are accorded top priorities. He further said that the Federal Government has committed 6000 scholarships for the youth of the province for higher studies within the country and abroad. The Federal Government is especially focusing on establishment of vocational and technical centers at the Provincial and Divisional Headquarters of the Province, he added.
About other measures, he said the Federal Government has committed an amount of 1 billion for the rehabilitation of IDPs of District Dera Bugti. He said although the politically motivated activities are quite serious but the graph of conventional crimes in Balochistan is also on rise. To check the rising graph, he said, the Federal Government has sanctioned 3000 posts of Federal Levies for maintenance of law and order duties and Highway security in Balochistan. He said the Federal Government is also committed to provide funds to the tune of 2 billion for the purchase of arms ammunition, communication equipments and required transport for the police and levies of the Province.
He asked the Balochistan government to speed up its efforts for protecting the high ways, key installations particularly Gas and Electricity so that the pace of development is properly maintained. The menace of kidnapping for ransom also needs to be curbed with iron hand.
He pointed out that the Government withdrew many cases of political workers not involved in heinous crimes. A number of missing persons were reunited with their families. Withdrawal of Army and deployment of Frontier Constabulary brought tangible results. FC was directed to seek guidance/instructions from the Chief Minister, Balochistan on the issues of internal security of the Province.
He regretted that the Balochistan Province remained on low priority in the past, therefore, its progress remain very slow. He expressed the confidence that soon see the Province of Balochistan would be on the road of stability and prosperity.