Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that there is a need for immediate steps for restoring peace in Balochistan and removing sense of deprivation of the Balochi people. He said that upholding of human rights and improvement of the situation in Balochistan is of vital importance. He said that grievances of the people of Balochistan should be redressed and if given opportunity by Allah Almighty and the masses, the problems of the province would be solved without wasting any time.
He said that Punjab government has increased the quota of reserved seats for Balochi students in educational institutions of Punjab by 160 percent. He said that Pakistan Muslim League will be further strengthened with the joining of Nawab Haji Lashkeri Raeesani and other Balochi leaders.
He was talking to the delegations of Balouch leaders led by Nawab Haji Lashkeri Raeesani who have quit Pakistan Peoples Party and joined Pakistan Muslim League-N, here today. Overall political situation of the country, especially in Balochistan and other matters of mutual interest were discussed in the meeting. Former Member Provincial Assembly Ismail Gujar and patron-in-chief of Hindu Council Dr. Ramesh Kumar were also present on the occasion.
Welcoming the decision of Nawab Haji Lashkeri Raeesani and other political leaders of Balochistan to join PML-N, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government is striving for promotion of national solidarity and removing the sense of deprivation of the people of Balochistan. He said that people of all units of Pakistan are united and their hearts beat in unison. He said that people of Punjab have always extended all-out help and assistance to the people of other provinces in the time of need and played due role for the promotion of inter-provincial harmony. He said that Balochistan, Sindh and KPK houses will be constructed in Punjab and land has been allocated for this purpose.
He said that Punjab set a noble example of love, sacrifice and brotherhood by giving its share of eleven billion rupees to Balochistan under National Finance Commission Award. He said every patriotic Pakistani is concerned over the situation prevailing in Balochistan and there is a need to solve this issue with consultation of all Balochi leaders. The Chief Minister informed the delegation that Punjab government has increased 2566 seats for Balochi students in the educational institutions of Punjab. He said that earlier there were 1608 seats for the students of Balochistan but now 4174 boy and girl students of Balochistan will benefit from educational facilities in the province.
He expressed hope that the number of students of Balochistan studying in Punjab will cross the figure of 20 thousand during the next five years. He said that Punjab government has also included the students of Balochistan, Sindh, KPK, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad in its laptops scheme, Ujala programme, educational endowment fund and award of prizes to position-holder boy and girl students. He said that the volume of PEEF has increased to ten billion rupees and an increase of two billion rupees is being made every year. He said that more than 40 thousand students were given educational scholarships from PEEF during the last five years. He said that no future government will be able to abolish his welfare programmes and the time will come when the amount of this fund will increase to one hundred billion rupees and lakhs of deserving but talented students will be able to continue their academic activities. He said that Punjab government has promoted merit and transparency in every sector and that is why a positive change is being witnessed in education, health and other sectors in the province. He said that 400 boy and girl students of Balochistan are also being given scholarships from PEEF while the provincial government has increased 200 scholarships for Balochi students from PEEF.
He said that the quota allocated for the treatment of patients from Balochistan in the hospitals of Punjab has also been enhanced. He said that national solidarity is being promoted by giving admission to boy and girl students of Balochistan in universities, medical colleges and other educational institutions of Punjab. He said in order to promote provincial harmony, officers belonging to Balochistan have been given important posts in Punjab. He said that if people reposed their confidence in PML-N led by Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in general elections, national solidarity will be further promoted and all efforts to fan provincialism will be foiled.
Nawab Haji Lashkeri Raeesani thanked Chief Minister Punjab for increasing the seats of Balochi students in Punjab and said that there is a need to evolve a multi-dimensional policy to solve problems of Balochistan.