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APP
June 20, 2021

Govt working for development of Gilgit-Baltistan, says Asad

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APP
June 20, 2021

GILGIT: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has said that in the light of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s instructions, the government is working for the development of Gilgit-Baltistan on a priority bases.

He said the development package included in the PSDP envisaged hydel power generation and transmission projects, connectivity projects for tourism, youth skill and scholarship programme, upgrading of health system and water and sanitation projects.

Addressing a press conference in Gilgit on Saturday, he said the message of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan is that if Gilgit-Baltistan develops in the true sense, the whole of Pakistan would be prosperous. He said that under the integrated development plan for Gilgit-Baltistan, 19 mega projects have been included in the PSDP, out of which 11 projects have been approved so far by the ECNEC and the CDWP for which Rs 56 billion were allocated this year, adding that Rs 135 billion would be spent till completion of these projects. The rest of the projects would also be approved soon.

He said Rs 50 billion would be spent on the Gilgit-Chitral Expressway under the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC). With the completion of these projects, Gilgit-Baltistan would develop in real sense and prosperity would come here. Apart from the PSDP, the federal government would also take steps to take Gilgit-Baltistan out of backwardness.

“The projects in various sectors will not only herald a new chapter of development in Gilgit-Baltistan but will also help address the problems of the area and create numerous employment opportunities,” Asad said. For the upgradation and betterment of Internet service in Gilgit-Baltistan, the spectrum auction would be held in the next 2-3 months. He said incubation centres are being set up at a cost of Rs 500 million to enhance the business skills of the youth of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Responding to a question on making Gilgit-Baltistan an interim constitutional province, the federal minister said the entire national leadership is agreed that Gilgit-Baltistan should have constitutional rights. There is no backdoor diplomacy from India in this matter, adding that soon Gilgit-Baltistan will be included in the constitutional mainstream.

He appealed to people to get vaccinated against corona virus as soon as possible, adding that for this purpose, mass vaccination centres are being set up at six places in Gilgit-Baltistan. The federal government is providing 30 mobile units to Gilgit-Baltistan, which would be used for vaccination in remote areas.