ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – In yet another step towards holding talks with estranged Baloch leaders, Prime Minister Imran Khan has appointed Jamhori Wattan Party (JWP) chairman Shahzain Bugti as his special assistant.
According to sources, the JWP chief will hold talks with angry Baloch leaders on political and national harmony.
Shahzain Bugti has been given the status of Federal Minister.
The Cabinet Division has issued notification of appointment of Shahzain Bugti. He has been posted as Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Reconciliation and Harmony in Balochistan.
On Monday, PM Imran Khan while addressing an even in Gwadar had said government was planning to reach out to the estranged Baloch youth for the sake of peace in Balochistan.
He said foes of Pakistan had used these elements in the past, but now the situation has entirely changed. He said the development of Balochistan is the top priority of the government and it has announced historical package for the area.
The prime minister regretted that the past rulers had prioritized their political objectives, always treating the development and progress of the backward Balochistan province as their backburner.
Imran Khan while regretting past rulers’ continuous negligence towards Balochistan province, assured that the federal government would increase its contribution for the development of the province every year.
“They did not pay attention to Balochistan province and focused solely to become prime minister of the country. They preferred to live in London and spend time during summer season,” the prime minister said in apparent reference to former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
The prime minister said Nawaz Sharif paid 24 trips to the United
Kingdom out of which 23 were private trips. He did not bother to come to Balochsitan whereas Zardari had been to Dubai for 51 times.
The prime minister further said that the one who thought of Pakistan would always think of its backward areas and Balochistan province.
Instead, the previous ruling elite focused on winning elections and preferred to contest from Faisalabad with multiple constituencies instead coming to Balochistan, he said, adding that due to their personal objectives, different areas like the merged tribal areas and Balochistan lagged behind in terms of progress and prosperity.
“It was our great misfortune. If they had paid attention to the whole country, they might continue as rulers of the country,” he observed.
The prime minister said the country could achieve progress when there was simultaneous and uniform progress throughout the country. The residents of Balochistan province felt a sense of deprivation due to continuous neglect.
The incumbent federal government, the prime minister said, had announced the biggest uplift package to the province because they felt that injustice was done with the people of Balochistan. Moreover, neither the center nor the political leadership of the province, in the past, paid attention to the plight of people, leading to widespread sense of deprivation.
He said that the government was focusing on Gwadar uplift with string of development projects, including setting up of desalination plant and construction of 300 bed teaching hospital.
To fully protect the fishermen and improve their conditions, Rs10 billion was allocated under Kamyab Jawan programme and out of which so far, Rs5 billion had been spent.
About the construction of low-cost housing units, the prime minister said, they had received a total of 4,000 applications from the area and had identified 200 acres of land over which initially 2,500 houses would be constructed.
The prime minister further said that Ehsaas scholarships would be given to 4,698 young people of the province. Moreover, the government was committed to provide 3G and 4G internet connectivity throughout the province which would create huge jobs opportunity to all, especially to the womenfolk.
He said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would bring biggest benefits to the people of Balochistan and inhabitants of Gwadar. The prime minister said there was complete ban on illegal fishing through big trawlers.