Gilgit-Baltistan:GB is one of the areas where there is immense potential for attracting foreign investment
ISLAMABAD, July 14 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday said that the government was committed to the uplift of people of Gilgit-Baltistan by focusing on bringing in socio-economic development in the region. He said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) gave political representation to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan for the first time and keeping with that spirit, their representatives needed to gear up their efforts for addressing the issues of the people and to be more responsive to their needs.
Those who were present included GB Senior Minister for Food Muhammad Jaffar, Law Minister Wazir Muhammad Shakeel, Finance Minister Muhammad Ali Akhter, Local Government & Rural Development Minister Muhammad Ismail, Works Minister Muhammad Naseer Khan, Health Minister Haji Gul Bar Khan and Advisors to CM-GB Mrs Sadia Danish and Aftab Hayder.
Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik, Secretary General to the President M. Salman Faruqui and Secretary of Planning Commission Javed Mehmood were also present besides other senior officials.
The meeting was also attended by Ms Mehreen Anwer Raja and Ms Rukhsana Bangash.
Situation in Gilgit-Baltistan with reference to the development of area, various mega projects, role of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in GB and other related matters were discussed during the meeting.
The President said that Gilgit Baltistan was one of the areas where there was immense potential for attracting foreign investment. Being the water bank of Pakistan, it not only offers excellent investment opportunities for hydel power projects but also in areas of tourism, mineral and agricultural sectors for both the international and local private investors, he added.
The President said that there was a need to gear up efforts to highlight the investment potential in the area on one hand and to neutralize negative perceptions about law and order situation, further improving communication network and enriching human capital, on the other, so that the available opportunities could be fully exploited.
The President also directed for the upgradation of Gilgit Airport with night landing facility.
Discussing developmental projects, the President directed that the representatives of Ministry of Finance, Planning Commission and the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan should visit Gilgit Baltistan to resolve various issue related to the developmental projects.
Issues relating to the Bhasha Dam also came under discussion. The President said that the Bhasha Dam would be inaugurated soon.
Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah extended invitation to the President to visit the area.
The President, accepting the invitation, said that he would visit Gilgit-Baltistan soon.
The delegation thanked the President for his keen interest in the development of area.