Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Saturday that the development of Balochistan was among the top priorities of his government.

The prime minister said that the talented manpower of the province had been a precious asset for the country and directed to ensure monitoring of the ongoing uplift projects in the province.

The prime minister's statement came as he chaired a meeting to review the administrative situation of the province during his day-long trip to the province.

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Communication Maulana Asad Mehmood and Minister for Housing and Works Maulana Abdul Wasey, Minister for Narcotics Shahzain Bugti, Israr Tareen, Acting Governor Jan Muhammad Jamali, Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, provincial ministers, and relevant authorities attended the meeting.

The chief secretary gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister on the ongoing development projects and the law and order situation.

The prime minister was apprised that a huge chunk of the population in the province was living below the poverty line due to a lack of employment opportunities.

The government was undertaking different development projects and giving priority to the locals in job opportunities, said the chief secretary.

The participants of the meeting presented various proposals and suggested making an announcement over a comprehensive package for the province.

The proposals also pertained to the promotion of tourism around the coastal highway, and the establishment of professional training institutions for imparting education and training to the local manpower.

The meeting participants welcomed the prime minister on his first visit to the province and lauded him for including the development of the province among the government’s top priorities.

The prime minister opined that through off-the-grid projects, the power shortage problem in the province could be resolved and assured that he would not rest till the province was brought at par with the rest of the provinces in terms of development.

The prime minister also sought the cooperation of the provincial cabinet as it would ensure the implementation of the projects.

PM Shehbaz said the people of Balochistan had rights over the natural resources, adding that he would also relaunch the stipend programme for the students of the province.

He said that they would have to work for the collective uplift of the whole province, especially its backward areas.

The prime minister also held a separate meeting with CM Balochistan earlier in the day, where they discussed matters pertaining to development projects in Balochistan including the law and order situation.

The chief minister briefed the prime minister regarding important provincial matters.

On this occasion, the premier said the federal government gives the highest importance to the development of Balochistan.

Earlier, the prime minister arrived in Quetta on his maiden visit to the province after assuming the office of the prime minister.

Upon his arrival, the prime minister was received by CM Bizinjo, while acting Governor Balochistan Mir Jan Mohammad Khan Jamali, Housing Minister Maulana Abdul Wasey, chief secretary Balochistan, and inspector-general of police were also present.

Iqbal, Mahmood, and the BNP-M chief accompanied the premier.

The prime minister was also given a guard of honor upon his arrival at the chief minister secretariat.