Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his government is making all-out efforts to bring Balochistan on a par with other parts of the country in terms of development as, according to him, the strength of the federation depends on equal level of progress in all federating units.
“Uniform development of all units of the federation is important for the overall progress of the country. The prosperity of Balochistan is linked with the prosperity of Pakistan,” the premier said on Friday while addressing Turbat University students at his first-ever visit to the district in south Balochistan.
The government, the premier said, is determined to ensure uplift of the people of Balochistan and provide them facilities in all areas particularly education and health, on a par with the rest of the country.
“You are the future leaders of Pakistan and the intellect which will lead the country’s journey towards prosperity,” he told the students. The premier said a country is like “a home" and "the prime minister is like a father of a nation" who has to see to it that he treats all the children equally.
"That's why I'm very happy that Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar is here with us today and he, too, has invested in Balochistan’s education and hospital. It's like an elder brother trying to help out his younger brother and this is how the country progresses,” he said.
The prime minister said Punjab has also increased the number of scholarships from 135 to 360 for the students of Balochistan pursuing higher education.
Terming the youth of Balochistan as the country’s ‘asset and future', PM Imran said the federal government would provide maximum funds for them in the education sector. “We want an intellectual base in Balochistan, ready to meet the challenges of today’s world.”
He said the revolution in information technology offered immense avenues to be explored in virtual education. PM Imran also advised the youth in Balochistan’s far-flung areas to tap the opportunities by gaining knowledge through distance learning modes.
He said with dedication and persistent struggle, any challenge could be overcome.
“A dream is realized when a person refuses to give up and continues to achieve his goals,” he told the students, urging them to never quit in difficult situations and always rise from the ashes.
About his vision to transform Pakistan into a welfare state, the PM said quest for knowledge was an important feature of the world’s first welfare Islamic State of Madina
He said education helped the people to distinguish between right or wrong and mentioned a saying of the Prophet (PBUH) who told people "to seek knowledge from the cradle to grave". He said Muslim ruled the world for hundreds of years but a decline occurred when they started ignoring education.
The premier also called upon the youth of Balochistan and the entire country to make their mark in the field of education and bring laurels to the country.
Addressing another event, the premier promised bringing 4G internet services as well as launching the Naya Pakistan Housing scheme in the province. Imran Khan also enumerated Pakistan's victories during his rule and said the economy is improving and deficits are reducing.
"I want to assure you completely of our efforts for poor households and the salaried people — who do not have enough money to build their own houses — we're bringing the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme here in Balochistan as well, God willing," he said.
He said the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme would offer loans for five-marla houses at 5% interest rate in order to allow people to have their own houses by repaying installments over 10 or 15 years.
"All of these things are happening for the first time in Pakistan, just like I spoke of the Ehsaas Programme, through which Rs200 billion was dispersed among poor and [it wasn't ever done] before in Pakistan's history, especially at a time when our economic situation is worse," he noted.
"For the first time in the last 17 years, Pakistan — which was going into deficit — went into surplus. This is a huge achievement of our government because as long as there's a deficit between the income and expenditure, a country cannot progress as it has to get loans," he said.
"Let me tell you another thing: Pakistan did not obtain a single loan in the past four months and this, too, is a major achievement. Our economy was stagnant. However, thank God, it is rising despite the coronavirus pandemic.
"Pakistan's stock market is the best performing one in Asia and what I want to say is that despite all these challenges, God is benevolent to us. Our policies were successful and our country is progressing today,” he claimed
During the visit, the premier laid foundation stones for various socio-economic uplift projects..