Mainstreaming Balochs to rectify sense of deprivation: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday said the development and prosperity of Balochistan was the government’s top priority and vowed to include Baloch people in national mainstream to end their sense of deprivation.He was addressing at a ceremony to welcome the thirty students from Balochistan who had been selected on merit under ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Program for Talented Youth from Balochistan’, at Islamabad College for Girls (ICG) here.As many as 150 students from all districts of Balochistan – with a ratio of four from each province – have been selected after written test and interviews.

Of them, 30 girls will study at the capital’s colleges while boys have been inducted at different cadet colleges of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.The students will complete education from class 8 to intermediate and all their expenses will be borne by the government. Prime Minister Gilani said his government was concerned about alleviating the sense of deprivation among the Baloch people by providing them their due rights.

He mentioned the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package which guaranteed the prosperity of the province by bringing it at par with developed areas of the country.He said the previous governments had neglected the province which belongs to patriot Balochs having rich culture and heritage.He mentioned that 5,000 Baloch youths had been given employment and added that 6,000 more jobs would be announced soon.

Gilani said there was a great realization amongst the government that the development of Balochistan was linked with its educated people.He said his program to induct the Baloch students in the best educational institutes in Islamabad and cadet colleges of other provinces would prove as a great opportunity for the students.He said the step would also help create an atmosphere of harmony and unity among the students from Balochistan and other provinces.He said a corporate committee had been set up to manage the financial affairs of the Program.The Prime Minister said the number of students from Balochistan under this program would be increased in near future. He said the nation had great expectations from these distinguished students and hoped that they would bring excellence to their careers and to the country.

As a special honour, the Prime Minister invited the two girl students – the elected president and general secretary of ICG, to sit along with him. He told them that he believes in democratic system and had great respect for these office-bearers who had been elected democratically by other students of the college.Gilani gave away certificates and prizes to the selected students. He was presented a painting made by the students.Earlier, the college students clad in traditional outfits presented a tableau and folk dances depicting colourful culture of four provinces.Jonaid Iqbal Chaudhry, Secretary Capital Administration and Development Division highlighted the importance of Program for Baloch students. – APP