Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif Visit to Baluchistan
The Prime minster visited Quetta on 30 January to assess the situation and confer with provincial leadership on ways and means for bringing about necessary improvements in this respect. The present government right from its inception is taking special interest in the development of Baluchistan Province. As such, the socio-politico-economic situation in the province has been given top priority in the developmental plans. Particularly, the law and order situation is the foremost concern of the government. It was in the larger interest of the province that the PML (N) despite numerical majority in the province facilitated the nationalist parties to from government in the province. This clearly shows the sincerity on the part of the party leadership in addressing the issue of Baluchistan. Baluchistan has been unjustly neglected in the past and therefore it is necessary that the people of the province are given their due rights to decide on their fate. Federal Government would however remain totally indifferent as far as the provincial politics is concerned, because it believes in the rule of democracy.
The province of Baluchistan has been suffering from severe law and order situation for the last more than two decades and the situation is worsening day by day. This has not only disturbed the peace and tranquillity of the Province but also raised serious alarms in the rest of the country. The federal government has therefore paid urgent attention to address this problem on urgent basis. The chaotic situation in the province is result of the injudicious and indifferent policies of the previous governments, particularly those implemented by the dictatorial regimes which denied the people their legitimate rights. As such, the disaffection on the part of the people is a natural outcome. The present government is however fully committed to do away with all the injustices done to the people of the province in the past.
It is unfortunate that the disturbed law and order situation in the province is being exploited by unscrupulous elements at the behest of the enemies of Pakistan. This situation is no more tolerable and government is determined to take all necessary measures to restore peace in the province so that the people may perform their daily chores with complete peace of mind.
Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif during his to Quetta pledged that the federal government would provide maximum resources for resolving all the long standing problems of Baluchistan. He said that the government is cognizant of the Baluchistan’s problems including shortage of electricity & gas, unemployment, etc and assured provincial assembly members that maximum resources would be provided for their earlier resolution. The federal government has already allocated funds amounting to Rs 8 billion for completion of Gwadar-Rato Dero and Khuzdar-Naag Highways. Construction work on these projects would soon be launched and completed within a year.
The present government is making all out efforts to bring the disgruntled Baloch youth to mainstream by fulfilling their demands of employment opportunities and launching of development projects in their areas. For this purpose we have decided on constituting a committee, in consultation with local political leadership, for reconciliation with the disgruntled Baloch quarters. The government is highly perturbed on the ethnic and sectarian clashes in the province which has taken precious lives of hundreds of innocent citizens, particularly those visiting holy places and shrines. For this purpose the government has decided to provide alternate travel facilities like air and ferry service which is relatively safer. In order to improve the infrastructure of the province the government is taking all possible steps to bring the desired improvements in the Province. In this respect the Prime Minister has initiated a number of mega projects for construction of highways and road networks. During his visit to the Province the Prime Minster performed the ground breaking ceremonies of some mega projects like Kalat-Quetta-Chaman N-25, Surab-Khushab N-35 Highway and Gwadar-Turbat-Khushab N-8 Highway, besides inaugurating the Qila Saifullah-Zhob N-50 Highway. It is obvious that these highways will improve the transportation facilities in the province and give necessary boost to its industrial and agricultural development in addition to providing easy, safe and faster means of travel facilities to the people.
Prime Minister said that the whole nation is appreciative of the invaluable sacrifices of our law enforcing agencies, particularly those soldiers who laid their lives for the protection of the life and property of innocent citizens and those killed in the terrorist and sectarian violence in the province of Baluchistan. The Prime Minister laid wreath of flower at the at Yadqar e Shuhada (Martyrs memorial) in Quetta to pay tribute to these brave solders.Prime Minister urged the civil and military leadership to devise joint strategy for ensuring durable peace in Baluchistan and to address the law and order situation in an effective manner. He emphasized that a collective approach was needed to resolve the issue of Baluchistan and put it on the track to prosperity. He stated that the government is not only interested in the timely solution of the Baluchistan issue but wants to solve this on permanent basis. For this purpose, it has undertaken long terms plans that will bear fruit in due course of time. Government wants to give all possible autonomy to the province in the administrative, political and economic spheres of life in accordance with constitution of Pakistan.
PM Stated that it is a matter of satisfaction that presently there is a representative government in the Province which is rendering valuable services to its people. He assured the provincial government fullest cooperation and hoped that the provincial government will extend maximum support to the federal government to promote the common welfare of the people of Pakistan. PM added that he is confident that with collective wisdom and mutual cooperation it would be possible to put Pakistan on the trajectory of development and prosperity.