The premier also met the bereaved Hazara families and offer his condolences over the tragedy.

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Sunday laid the foundation stone of a housing project in Quetta under Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP), before leaving for a two-day maiden visit to Iran.

Balochistan Governor Amanullah Khan Yasinzai, Chief Minister (CM) Jam Kamal and other senior officials received the premier at the airport.

The PM met a delegation of the Hazara community at the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering, and Management Sciences (BUITEMS) university, and offered his condolences to the bereaved family members of the victims who had lost their lives in last week’s Hazarganji blast.

Moreover, a Fatiha was offered for the martyrs of the blast. The PM listened to the issues of the community and assured that the state would ensure their protection.

The CM at a ceremony thanked the premier for his visit to the province. The participants of the ceremony observed a minute of silence for the victims of the last week blast.

PM Khan addressed the gathering, and praised the motivation of Tariq Bashir Cheema, the Minister for Housing and Works, for working hard for the project.

He emphasised on importance of the project, and stated that five million houses would be built under the programme.

“It has become difficult for salaried persons to make their own homes,” he said, adding that companies from Malaysia and China were interested in investing in the programme.

He asserted that no nation could progress unless corruption is eradicated from the society, and the state develops when poverty-stricken people are elevated.

“In other countries, [the number of] people who take loan to build homes is higher as compared to Pakistan. We will legislate so that people can take loans [in higher numbers],” PM Imran said. “The State Bank of Pakistan is encouraging banks to disburse more housing loans to consumers.”

Addressing youths, the premier said more opportunities will be created for them so that they are able to start construction companies to benefit from the housing boom. “I urge the youth to start their own businesses and become entrepreneurs rather than looking at the government for jobs,” he added.

“It is important to make a master plan for Quetta or it will keep expanding. Jam Kamal and I will work for the province. Balochistan has a good fortune to have a CM like Jam sahab.”

“I am responsible for every person in this country. We have to help Balochistan and take the country forward," the prime minister added.

Later, PM Khan will also preside over important meetings scheduled to analyse peace and security situation in the province, and other development projects.

Strict security measures have been implemented in preparation for the prime minister’s arrival, with security personnel deployed at Quetta’s Zarghoon Road, Airport Road and other areas. Main areas of the city are also being cleaned as part of the preparations for the PM’s visit.

The Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme projects will be inaugurated at the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS).

In the first phase of the project, thousands of houses are to be built in Quetta for employees of the provincial and federal governments, and fishermen of Gwadar.

CM Kamal sees housing project as “milestone”

Balochistan CM Jam Kamal considered the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme “an important milestone for the people of Balochistan.”

Yesterday, he chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress of the project in Quetta.

During the meeting, Pakistan Housing Authority Foundation Director General Waseem Hayat Bajwa briefed members and apprised them that the construction of low cost residential apartments under the project would be completed in various phases.

He said that the residential apartments will be constructed in Kuchlak and Wahdat Colony areas of Quetta while several apartments will also be constructed in Gwadar and Ormara for fishermen and government employees.