It is the responsibility of the government to support the weaker sections of society, ensure the parallel distribution of resources, and prioritize the development of backward areas.
The preparation of a package for 20 backward districts in the country is a clear manifestation of the government’s determination for national development despite economic difficulties. In the meeting presided over by Federal Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, the target for the development of these 20 districts has been set. Among them are eleven districts in Balochistan, five districts in Sindh, three districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and one district in Punjab. The development package for these districts will be contributed to by both the federal government (50%) and the provincial governments (50%).
In December 2022, the Ministry of Planning launched a five-year project (2022-2027) that includes special development measures for the 20 poorest districts in the country. The cost of this project is 40 billion rupees, and it includes proposals from relevant members of the National Assembly and others for implementation. The development package aims to bring the districts of Balochistan (Kohlu, Shirani, Jhal Magsi, Barkhan, Qila Saifullah, Zhob, Musa Khel, Dera Bugti, Jafarabad, Ziarat, Qila Abdullah), Sindh (Badin, Sajawal, Thatta, Tharparkar), and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Kashmore, Torghar, Shangla, North Waziristan) on par with other districts. Additionally, the Rajanpur district of Punjab is also included in the development package. Balochistan province currently has 30 districts.
In 1998, Balochistan had 26 districts, and the other districts have been carved out from the original ones. Sherani was a tehsil of Zhob district. Sindh province has a total of 29 districts, and Tharparkar is one of the most backward areas in the country. Among the 33 districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Shangla attained district status in 1995 and is the second most backward region in Pakistan. The Rajanpur district in Punjab is also considered highly backward.
The decision to identify the most backward districts is correct, and priority should be given to providing employment opportunities for the residents of these areas in the development projects.