ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said his government has given top priority to the development of Balochistan so that this region should make development and progress like other parts of the country.

He stated this while chairing a meeting on development projects for backward areas of South Balochistan in Islamabad. Imran Khan said South Balochistan was neglected in the past, due to which people of this area faced poverty and backwardness. He said Gwadar port is of paramount importance which will prove to be an important milestone for the development of the country. The Prime Minister further said that he will soon visit South Balochistan and announce a comprehensive development package for the area and also inaugurate projects under this announcement. 

The meeting was apprised of the proposed development package for the backward districts of South Balochistan, especially Khuzdar, Awaran, Chaghi, Kharan, Washik, Lasbela, Gwadar, Panjgur and Turbat. A detailed briefing was also given on roads, energy, dams for water storage, education, health, agriculture, livestock, fisheries and other projects for the South Balochistan.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasised on creating job opportunities by promoting the construction sector, which will help overcome economic losses due to COVID-19 pandemic. Chairing weekly meeting of the National Coordination Committee for Housing, Construction, and Development in Islamabad on Thursday, he directed to simplify administrative procedures for investors.

Chief Secretary Sindh informed the meeting that 877 and 10 applications have so far been received respectively for the construction of residential and industrial projects since 17 April this year. He said permission has been granted to 363 projects, which comprise 12 million square feet construction size. The meeting was told that a massive sale in cement, steel, tiles, and ceramics has been witnessed in the province. It was said that online monitoring system is in place for timely evaluation and checking of documents. The Prime Minister said Karachi is economic hub of the country and it has special importance for the construction sector. Balochistan Chief Secretary apprised the meeting that processing of applications for 1,067 commercial and 2,033 residential projects is underway in Balochistan. Chairman Capital Development Authority informed that an agreement has been signed with 1-link for online payment of fees to facilitate investors. He said property documents are being digitized. The meeting was also apprised on the continuing anti-encroachment campaign in Islamabad. 



Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said peace in Afghanistan will be beneficial for the entire region by enhancing regional connectivity and providing new opportunities for economic cooperation.  

Talking to Minister for Industry and Commerce of Afghanistan Nisar Ahmed Faizi Ghoryani in Islamabad today, he remarked that Pakistan and Afghanistan have untapped economic synergies and complementarities, which could only be realized through cooperation in the economic and trade spheres. 

The Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan's consistent support to peace and stability in Afghanistan and emphasized the need for a negotiated political settlement.

The Afghan Commerce Minister appreciated the positive role played by Pakistan in facilitating the Afghan peace process and desired for enhanced economic and trade ties between the two countries. Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood was also present on the occasion.