GWADAR: Fast-paced development of Gwadar is a top priority of the government, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar said on Monday during his day-long visit to the port city.

The federal minister visited the Gwadar Free Zone and different sites of development projects, including the new Gwadar Airport.

He was accompanied by Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, Commander Southern Command Lt General Asim Bajwa and officials of the federal and provincial governments.

He also chaired meetings to review the preparations for the Gwadar Expo 2019 scheduled on March 28 and 29 and for resolution of issues of local community.

The minister said that speeding up efforts on development projects in Gwadar was among the top priorities of the government. Following this policy, construction work on a number of projects, including the new Gwadar Airport, hospital and vocational institute is commencing soon.

A transmission line project is being worked out in order to link the Makran coastal region with the national grid, he said.

He said that the Zhob-Quetta section of the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would help in the uplift of less-developed areas in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Bakhtiar was of the view that Balochistan remained under-developed and was ignored in past but the present government was focusing on the development of the province.

He said that all the issues of local community would be addressed on priority basis and they would fully benefit from the opportunities provided to them.

“Participation of the local community will be ensured for meaningful development in this coastal region,” the minister remarked.

He said vocational training programmes for the youth were commencing soon, which would help them learn the latest technical skills.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Kamal said the federal and provincial governments would jointly make efforts to remove the sense of deprivation in the province.

The chief minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would soon visit Gwadar and Quetta and make important announcements. He said the government had included mega projects in the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

The CM maintained that in the federal and provincial PSDPs, the government would allocate funds for all districts and ensure that development measures were taken equally in all areas.

He added that the provincial government would ensure transparency in all the development schemes.