ISLAMABAD  -    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said development of the merged tribal areas was on the top priority of the government which was focusing upon provision of health, education and other facilities, besides law and order situation in these areas.

Lauding immense sacrifices of the residents of erstwhile tribal areas for the solidarity of the country, the prime minister said the government was specially focusing upon the social and economic uplift of these areas, so as to improve living standard of their residents and bring it at par with rest of the country. The prime minister expressed these views during a meeting with Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Shah Farman and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.  Minister for Communication Murad Saeed, Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan and Special Assistant on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq were also present during the meeting, said a press release of PM Office media wing.

The meeting took stock of the progress and future strategy for the development and progress of these merged tribal areas.

The prime minister said the government was making all-out efforts to provide employment opportunities to the youth in these areas, so that they could fully utilize their potentials. He said the government was striving to cut maximum expenditures in the fiscal budget by adopting austerity measures. However, he said, full focus was made on the uplift of backward areas and to provide assistance to the weaker segments of society.

He mentioned that in the upcoming budget, special attention was paid on the progress and development of the less developed areas of Balochistan and the erstwhile tribal areas.

The KP chief minister apprised the prime minister over progress on the ongoing development projects in these areas, especially about the provision of Sehat Insaf Card.