ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Monday said the self-styled independence of federal agencies was being checked and it would be ensured that they did not act on their own with regard to the issue of law and order.
Presiding over a meeting on the Balochistan situation, he said these agencies should provide assistance to the provincial government in aid of civil power as and when required. PM Raja said bringing stability and prosperity to Balochistan was the top priority of his government, and added that the federal government had sanctioned 3,000 posts of Federal Levies for maintenance of law and order, and highway security in Balochistan. He said the government was committed to providing funds to the tune of Rs2 billion for the purchase of arms and ammunition, communication equipment and required transport for police and Levies of the province.
He directed the Balochistan government to speed up efforts to protect the highways and key installations, particularly gas and electricity, so that the pace of development was properly maintained.
The prime minister said the government had withdrawn many cases of political workers not involved in heinous crimes, and reunited a number of missing persons with their families. He said the withdrawal of army and deployment of the Frontier Constabulary in Balochistan had brought tangible results. Prime Minister Raja said the Frontier Constabulary was directed to seek guidance and instructions from the Balochistan chief minister on issues of internal security of the province. He said the government, despite its financial constraints, would ensure provision of funds for public welfare programmes in Balochistan. He mentioned the financing of mega projects, particularly the Gwadar Ratu Dero Road (M-8), Kachhi Canal and Gwadar Deep sea port, on a priority basis.
He said the federal government had committed 6,000 scholarships for the youth of Balochistan for higher studies within the country and abroad. Besides, he said, focus was being laid on the establishment of vocational and technical centres at the provincial and divisional headquarters of the province.
Prime Minister Raja said the federal government had committed an amount of one billion rupees for the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons ofthe Dera Bugti district. He said Balochistan was an important part of the country and because of its strategic location, maintenance of peace there was of utmost importance. “I categorically declare that the Balochistan issue is on my priority list and I have invited disgruntled Baloch leaders to start a dialogue with the government to resolve the crisis at the earliest,” he added.
Presiding over a meeting here at the PM Secretariat regarding preparations to tackle possible flood disasters, Prime Minister Raja Ashraf directed all federal and provincial departments concerned to make well-coordinated, effective and swift measures to avert damages from floods in the monsoons. He said an effective response and real-time coordination were vital to confront any eventuality in case of floods.
The meeting was attended by the chief secretaries of four provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir. The meeting was informed about the damages caused by the floods of 2010-11 and relief measures taken by the government.The Meteorological Department, in its briefing, said monsoons were likely to hit the country in the second week of July and five to 15 percent more than normal rains were expected.
Prime Minister Raja Ashraf urged all the provincial governments to build the capacity of the Provincial Disaster Management and District Management Authorities so that they were better prepared to meet any emergency. He said the country witnessed unprecedented floods in 2010-11 that caused massive damage to infrastructure, precious crops, livestock and displacement of millions of people, particularly in the poverty-hit areas.
He said timely preventive measures could reduce damages caused by the floods, adding he hoped that accurate flood forecasting and institutional arrangements could mitigate the impact of the flood damages.
The meeting was also informed that the Emergency Relief Cell of the Cabinet Division had procured 30,000 tents, relief goods and three helicopters at its disposal.Prime Minister Raja directed the Water and Power secretary to ensure safety of all electric grid stations and other installations.