Zardari wants special plan for Gilgit-Baltistan
* Chairs meeting to review FoDP summit
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday called for a special plan for Gilgit-Baltistan to set up a number of infrastructure development projects in the fields of energy, education, industry and tourism.
Talking to a 21-member delegation of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), led by Gilgit Baltistan president Syed Mehdi Shah at the Presidency, Zardari said development and political reforms for the area were part of the PPP manifesto. He said the PPP had taken significant steps for the development of the area every time it came into power.
The delegation congratulated the president on unveiling a political reform package for Gilgit-Baltistan.
Members of the delegation also highlighted specific developmental issues of their areas. Zardari said he would advise the government to address their concerns at the earliest.
Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan were also present.
Meeting: Later, President Asif Ali Zardari presided over a meeting that reviewed Pakistan’s case before the upcoming meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) forum, scheduled in New York later this month. He said the commitment of the international community to help Pakistan would go a long way in fighting extremism and militancy.
The meeting discussed Pakistan’s requirements in the energy, food and agriculture, security and financial segments of the rehabilitation plan of the war-torn Malakand region. It also took stock of the recent FoDP ministerial meeting held in Turkey last month.
“The FoDP initiative should be seen as a long-term engagement of the international community with Pakistan to help it face the challenges,” Zardari said. Briefing reporters on the meeting, president’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said Zardari had directed that the country’s case before the FoDP should cover all the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts and must include a long-term strategy to fight militancy.