Balochistan: Preferential Treatment
The Pakistan People’s Party-led government's policies are aimed at benefiting and mainstreaming the people of Balochistan who will continue to receive preferential treatment, Information Minister Sherry Rehman said on Friday [21 November 2008].
The minister told a delegation of editors the government was committed to resolving the issues of each and every sector of the province. "The president and the prime minister have repeatedly emphasised that Balochistan deserves special attention and affirmative action so that the issues of the region must be addressed on a priority basis," she added.
Sherry said the province needed to be seen beyond the prism of its resource-rich structure, adding, "For our government, Balochistan is an important region that must be brought in the mainstream because it is an integral and vital part of Pakistan."
Sherry assured the delegation that her ministry would address their issues at the earliest. She accepted their invitation to visit the province.
"It would be an opportunity to personally interact with the media representatives of the province, and understand their problems, and present the federal government's viewpoint," the minister said.
The information minister praised the release of Mir Abdul Nabi Bangulzai and said the release of all political prisoners including Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Safdar Sarki and Mir Shahzain Bugti was part of the government’s reconciliation efforts.
Victimisation: "We are determined to close the chapter on the culture of political victimisation. The government has also removed the FC checkpoints from the area, in response to a longstanding demand of the people of Balochistan, who have complained of harassment at the hands of FC troops," she said.
Sherry said the prime minister had allocated a significant sum from his discretionary grant for the development projects of the province. "We are committed to go the extra mile for the development of the province," she added.