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Pak offers sops to Baloch tribals

The Govt has approved 30,000 new posts in various departments, including the police and Frontier Corps, to be filled over the next two years.

india Updated: Mar 30, 2006 13:14 IST

Ahead of the inauguration on Tuesday of the Gwadar Port in Balochistan, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has announced an economic package for the province that faces a serious tribal rebellion.

The government has approved 30,000 new posts in various departments, including the police and Frontier Corps, in Balochistan to be filled over the next two years to boost employment, Pakistan Today quoted Aziz as saying.

"We will also try to provide jobs to Balochistan youths in various departments of the federal government, more than their fixed quota," he said.

Balochistan has been witnessing a crackdown by the military to quell violence by nationalists who are attacking government installations and security forces.

The province is rich in minerals and gas, and its tribal leaders want a greater share in the economic wealth of the country.

Aziz said the government would not compromise on the law and order issue, but it believed the best way to resolve the troubles was through dialogue.

"We want a solution of problems through mutual consultation and consent but will maintain the writ of the state at the same time," he said.

Aziz conceded that law and order was "a real problem" in areas of Balochistan.

The prime minister said the government was in talks with a Dubai-based company about the operation of Gwadar Port, located only some 70 km from the Iranian border.

He urged the Balochis, particularly those sympathetic to the separatist movement, to be optimistic about foreign investment in the province rather than fear that investors would take away their resources.

"The investment will have a positive impact on their life as they will get jobs and their areas will make progress," he said. But he warned that investment would not come into the province until the security situation improved.

First Published: Mar 27, 2006 12:41 IST