Islamabad, October 21: (PR) President Mamnoon Hussain has said that the Government is committed towards socio-economic uplift of people of Gilgit-Baltistan and attaches great importance to speedy completion of all developmental projects in the area. He said that every effort would be made to bring Gilgit-Baltistan at par with the developed regions of the country.
This he said during his first visit to Gilgit-Baltistan today.
Briefing about various engagements of the President on the first day of his 2-day visit to Gilgit-Baltistan, Press Secretary to the President, Ms. Saba Mohsin Raza said that the President had a series of meeting today including with the Governor, Chief Minister, Parliamentarians, notables and people from various walks of life.
Upon his arrival at Gilgit airport, the President was extended a very warm by Governor Gilgit-Baltistan Pir Syed Karam Ali Shah, Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah and notables of the area.
Soon after his arrival, the President had separate meetings with Governor Gilgit-Baltistan and the Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah. Pir Syed Karan Ali Shah briefed the President about overall situation in GB. Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah durng his meeting briefed the President about various developmental activities in the area and matter pertaining to Gilgit-Baltistan.
The meeting with the Governor and Chief Minister followed a detailed briefing by Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan Sikandar Sultan Raja.
Those who were present during the briefing included among others Mr. Barjees Tahir, Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs & NA, Governor and the Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan, Secretary Mr. Shahid ullah Baig, Secretary Home & Prisons Dr. Ata ur Rehman, Inspector General of Police Mr. Saleem Bhatti and other senior officials. Secretary to the President Mr. Ahmad Farooq and senior officials of presidency were also present during the briefing.
Chief Secretary briefed the President about administrative peculiarities of the region and highlighted various issues and the measures being taken for the redressal of those issues.
Highlighting the geographical importance and natural beauty of the region, the President underscored the need to focus on further exploiting tourist potential of the area. He said that greater efforts be made to promote tourism in the area which would not only entail huge economic benefits for the people of the area but would also serve to project true image of the region and would highlight its rich cultural heritage.
The President expressed the hope that various packages announced by the Government for the region will significantly contribute towards bringing about qualitative change in the lives of the people. He said that the chain of Special Economic Zones under “vision 2025” of present government will be started from this area.
Discussing various developmental projects, the President highlighted hydel potential of the region and said that construction of various dams including Bhasha, Bunji and Dasu will not only meet our energy requirements but also generate huge economic opportunities for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
During the briefing the President lauded the contribution of the people towards ensuring law & order in the area and towards neutralizing those elements who wanted to disrupt peace of the region. The President said that the events like “Silk Route Festival”, “Shandur Mela” and “Trekker’s expeditions” portray true image and nature of the people of the Gilgit-Baltistan and will always challenge the cowardly terrorist activities.
The President said that all genuine demands aimed at introducing good governance and betterment of the people will be accommodated.
During meeting with the legislators, the President reiterated Government’s commitment towards welfare of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, their administrative autonomy, social, cultural, judicial rights and observed that the Government would continue to provide the people of the area every possible assistance for their betterment and development.
The President also highlighted various initiatives of the Government, the developmental projects announced especially for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and various component of Prime Minister Schemes that also cover GB region.
The President said that Pak-China Economic Corridor would prove to be a game changer for the entire region and would bring huge economic benefits to Gilgit-Baltistan also.
The legislators also apprised the President about their areas and briefed the President about developmental activities and issues of their people. The President appreciated their political maturity and the services for the people and expressed the hope that they would continue to serve the people with similar zeal especially in addressing various issues faced by the people of far flung areas.
Press Secretary said that the President also met a delegation comprising of notable, elders, members of the business community and people from other walks of life. She said that the meeting turned into an interactive session where the participants spoke on host of issues.
The President lauded patriotism and the sacrifices of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan for the country. On this occasion the President also paid homage to the bravery of Lalik Jan Shaheed (Nishan e Haider) and NLI jawans who sacrificed their lives for the defence of the country. The President said that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have made great contributions towards the progress and prosperity of Pakistan, irrespective of all political affiliations.
Addressing the participants, the President said that the Government is fully cognizant of the problems faced by the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and every effort would be made for their redressal at the earliest.
Discussing various issues with the people, the President said that compensation to the affectees of the Diamir Bhasha Dam will be ensured by the concerned authorities. He said that efforts would be made by to provide better facilities at Sinkyang-Gilgit-Baltistan border. The President said that establishment of Chinese language centers would also be considered for facilitating better communication of business community with their Chinese counterparts.