DERA BUGTI - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has urged estranged Balochs to leave the path of confrontation and join the national mainstream for the development of Balochistan.

The PM was speaking after the inauguration of Kachhi Canal project in Dera Bugti on Thursday. He said the project will be a ‘game changer’ for the people of Dera Bugti.

“Today, Nawaz Sharif should have been here,” he said, adding that the former premier had been involved in every phase of the project.

He said criticised previous governments for not releasing funds for this all important project. He said more than Rs 700 billion of projects relating to water, provision of electricity and gas and roads are under implementation in Balochsitan.

He said the day will soon come when Balochistan will be the most prosperous province of Pakistan.

He termed the Kachhi canal as a project of love as the 363 kilometer long main canal (out of which 351 kilometer is lined canal) takes off from Taunsa Barrage to irrigate virgin land in Dera Bugti district of Balochistan province. Discharge capacity of the main canal is 6,000 cusecs. As many as 914 structures have been constructed.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi referred to the demand of the people about shortage of drinking water in Dera Bugti and Domki and assured that the problem of water will be resolved soon while each district of Balochistan will be provided gas at a cost of Rs15 billion. He said Gwadar Port will make Baochistan the richest province. He also announced the establishment of a 50-bed hospital in Dera Bugti and pointed out that 21 universities are being set up with the help of federal government.

The PM said the SC verdict of 28th July has made a lot of impact. He said they did not agree with it but respect the verdict. He said after the verdict, Nawaz Sharif resigned which is victory of democracy and people of Pakistan.

He said the most precious source is water and the government is paying due attention towards it. He said work on Diamer Bhasha dam has started while water projects of Rs 200 billion are being implemented in Balochistan. He said the water sector projects will change the destiny of Pakistan.

He asked the people to make a decision in the next general elections whether they want development of the country as performance of political parties was before them.

The function was attended by Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri, Federal Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch, provincial home minister Sarfraz Bugti and a large number of tribal elders of the area.

With the completion of Kachhi Canal (Phase-I), water infrastructure and irrigated agriculture have achieved a land mark. Work on Kachhi Canal, started 15 years ago, and was almost an abandoned project owing to gross cost overrun and long delays. However, the project was revitalised due to active support of the Federal Government and commitment of Wapda. The project has now finally been completed with a cost of about Rs80 billion.