ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP):Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar Monday said uplift of the less developed regions would be ensured through a Pakistan’s regional equalization development plan.
He expressed these views in a meeting with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Finance Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra. Issues of projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and future strategies for development were discussed in the
meeting.

Makhdum Khusro Bkhtyar said next budget of 2019-20 would be a depiction of federal and provincial government’s joint strategies for development.

He said all out efforts would be made to ensure implementation of Pakistan’s regional equalization development plan. “Steps would be taken to bring less developed areas of Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rural Sindh, Southern Punjab and Balochistan at par with urban centers of Pakistan”, Minister highlighted.

He further said a well coordinated planning would be adopted to develop intermediate cities of the province. Projects of drinking water, sewerage, housing and other sectors would be implemented to ensure
uplift of these areas, he maintained.

Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar vowed to work for up gradation of existing roads and linking different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the motorways.

Provincial Minister Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra appreciated the role of federal government and ensured to work jointly for development of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Meanwhile in another meeting with Director General of Special Communications Organization (SCO), Major General Ali Farhan, who called on him here this day, Minister for Planning, Development and Reform said the government was committed to extend high speed internet services of 3G and 4G to Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) regions to improve land based communications.

Project Director CPEC Hasan Daud and senior officials of the ministry were also present in the meeting.

The minister said steps would be taken to extend broadband services to GB & AJK regions including far flung areas to enhance connectivity.
In order to further integrate people of these regions with mainland Pakistan, it was imperative that they should be provided communications and IT facilities at par with rest of the country. ‘The extension of these services would also help promote industry and tourism in these areas’, the minister added.

During the meeting, SCO DG apprised the minister about work of the organization including laying of 820 Km optical fiber cable from Khunjrab to Rawalpindi under CPEC framework in Phase 1. He also briefed the minister on proposed phase-II of the project.