QUETTA, April 23 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said that lack of facilities, neglect and sense of deprivation led to the backwardness of Balochistan province which could be alleviated through collective efforts and diversion of energies and resources.
Addressing a ceremony after performing groundbreaking of the dualization of 102-kms Khuzdar-Kuchlak I and II sections of N-25 Chaman-Karachi national highway, he regretted that despite gifted with huge natural resources and geographical location, the province had faced different challenges.
He said rich with Sui natural gas reserves, the people of the province had not been given its due benefits, adding the true potential of Sandak , coal mines, Reko Diq reserves of gold and copper could be the harbinger of the development and prosperity.
He said Reko Diq mines exploration had remained an issue of litigation in the past frittering away precious time and national wealth.
The prime minister regretted that they could not settle the issue and as a whole and individually, they had failed to meet the expectation of the people of the province.
Acting Governor Jan Muhammad Jamali, Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Communication Maulana Asad Mehmood and Minister for Housing and Works Maulana Abdul Wasey, Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti, Israr Tareen and provincial ministers were also present on the occasion.
The prime minister said that they should not live in the past and keep on repenting rather they should move ahead with unity by learning from the past experiences.
He said in the past, during 2000 to 2014, terrorism had wreaked havoc and the Baloch and Pashtuns living in the province bore the brunt like the people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Both provinces had been given unmatched sacrifices against the scourge of terrorism, he said, and lauded the sacrifices of the armed forces and the law enforcement agencies that had helped defeated the specter of terrorism.
The prime minister referring to recent incidents of terrorism, said that they knew the factors but with unity and solidarity, the nation would defeat it.
He stressed upon a collective decision-making power which could remove all the hurdles and enable them to confront the emerging challenges.
The prime minister further stressed that the narrative about South and North Balochistan, should be shunned, rather it should be their priority to address core issues like lack of basic facilities.
He opined that after tribal areas, this province had been the poorest one, despite having huge natural reserves, which were not tapped properly.
The prime minister said Reko Diq was a saga of great pain and discomfort as country’s billions of rupees had been wasted on litigation. The other nations had excelled while Pakistan lagged behind.
The prime minister said to live like an honourable nation, they had to stand on their feet through achieving an economic prosperity.
He said the coalition government was faced with huge challenges but expressed the confidence that they would rewrite a history of progress and development.
The prime minister urged the political leadership to think of the country and its people irrespective of the political divide.
He also announced to provide financial support to about 5,0000 families of the province living below the poverty line.
However, he made it mandatory for the recipients to send their children to schools as they would not like to create an army of baggers rather to create a lot that should stand on their feet and turn themselves into nation builders.
The prime minister also asked the relevant authorities to prepare a feasibility report over Quetta metro bus, besides establishment of a technical university.
He said to encourage the prolific students, they would launch laptop programme throughout the province.
The prime minister also assured to resolve the issue of missing persons in accordance with law.
About the road project, he said that this section of N-25 Khuzdar-Kuchlak road was called a bloody road due to rampant accidents.
He directed the authorities to immediately initiate the whole project instead of working out a phase wise construction.
The prime minister expressed the confidence that dualization of Rs200 billion worth road project would bring economic prosperity and directed for its completion within one and half year.
The reconstruction and dualization of this section of Karachi-Quetta-Chaman highway would enhance transportation among the important cities of the province, he added.
Minister for Communications Maulana Asad Mahmood said that a journey to development of Balochistan had started. The political parties of Balochistan had reposed confidence in the prime minister.
Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qaddus Bizenjo expressed the confidence that under the dynamic leadership of the prime minister, the province would witness unprecedented development.
Chairman National Highway Authority Capt. (retired) Muhammad Khurram Agha apprised that worth Rs81 billion section was being inaugurated today. The total length of the road was 790 kms which after completion would benefit the entire population of the province and contribute in economic uplift of the province.