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Friday, February 16, 2024

CM Balochistan blames previous govts for misappropriation of funds

Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani on Sunday claimed that Balochistan had received ample funds from the federal government for development in the past but they were misused by the previous provincial governments.

CM Balochistan Mr. Alyani reached Zhob for a one-day visit on Sunday where he was received by provincial Minister for Live­stock Haji Mitha Khan Kakar and other senior officials at the airport. He was briefed about the Sherani Town’s development project. Talking to the reporters during his visit, Alyani claimed that the previous governments had received sufficient funds from the federal government for the development of the province but a major chunk was wasted by them due to lack of proper planning and careless decisions.

He asserted that the irresponsible attitude of the previous governments had plunged Balochistan into poverty and backwardness. If those funds had been used honestly for the welfare of the citizens, the situation in the province would have been a lot different than what it is today, Alyani told the reporters.

Read More: Did previous governments neglect Balochistan?

He further stated that the district headquarters of Sherani were established in a remote area by the previous provincial’s government without any groundwork. He claimed that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif laid the foundation of a highway and declared it the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), however no such highway existed in CPEC’s plan documents.

Alyani informed the reporters that Zhob-Dera Ismail Khan-Mir Ali Khail highway was under construction from Kuchlak which would faciliate access to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad from Zhob Sherani for the citizens. He said that the current provincial government was initiating several development projects for the prosperity of the province. These projects he believes would help create employment opportunities for the people and give them access to a variety of facilities that would improve their living standards.

The path to prosperity

Balochistan has been the most strategically important province to Pakistan owing to the high concentration of natural resources- including coal, oil, copper, and gas reserves. It generates substantial revenue for the federal government and the only deep-sea port in Pakistan is located in Gwadar, Balochistan. For the longest time, this resource-rich province was neglected and the security situation remained precarious. However, the current government of the province is keen on getting things in order and is currently trying to attract foreign and local investment by formulating policies that can keep the law-and-order situation in control and also initiating a variety of development programs.

Read More: Machh tragedy: Is PM Imran Khan scheduled to visit Balochistan?

Recently, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan inaugurated the Trauma and Emergency Response Centre at the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Zhob. He also kickstarted other projects including Yadgar Shuhada and employees housing project and Phase-2 of Mir Ali Khail-Tank highway. An expansion project for the construction of road from Dr Kamal Khan Chowk to Airport costing Rs 69 million has also been initiated on the CM’s orders.

CPEC vital for Balochistan’s development

Alyani is also focused on setting up an effective mechanism to follow up the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. Talking to CPEC Authority Chairman Lieutenant General (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa during a meeting, he stressed that provision of employment opportunities to the youth of the neglected province in CPEC projects should be guaranteed.

Read More: Must develop Balochistan for ensuring CPEC’s success

Gwadar is also set to become the future economic hub of not on Pakistan but the whole of South Asia. In 2015, China signed an agreement for the development and amendment of Gwadar port and in 2019, Gwadar Smart City’s masterplan was approved. This city is said to become the fulcrum of economic development in Pakistan in the future. This would not only create employment opportunities for the people of the province but would also uplift their living standards. All in all, the future looks promising for Balochistan.