Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday warmly welcomed the announcement for start of Intra-Afghan negotiations on Saturday (September 12), saying, “finally our combined efforts have brought forth the day that the Afghan people have been yearning for.” The prime minister, in a statement, said for more than 40 years, Afghans had suffered from continued conflict and bloodshed. “Pakistan has endured the fallout reflected in incidence of terrorism, loss of precious lives, and huge economic cost,” he said. The prime minister said he had underlined for a long time that there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that the only way forward was a negotiated political settlement. He said through relentless efforts, Pakistan had played a pivotal role in facilitating the Afghan peace process to the juncture. “We feel deeply gratified as we have fulfilled our part of the responsibility,” he remarked. He viewed that it is now for the Afghan leaders to seize the historic opportunity, work together constructively, and secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.The prime minister said the successful culmination of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process is indispensable for Afghanistan, and for regional peace, stability and prosperity. “We hope all sides will honour their respective commitments, persevere in the face of all challenges, and remain unflinchingly committed to achieving the desired outcome,” he stated. Imran Khan resolved that for its part, Pakistan will continue to extend full support and solidarity with the Afghan people as they marched forward in the consequential journey for peace and development.Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday directed the Balochistan government to define priorities for the development projects, which could create wealth and open up employment opportunities in the province. The prime minister, in a meeting during his brief visit to review the magnitude of losses by heavy rains and floods in Balochistan, rehabilitation efforts, measures to contain Covid-19 and update on the development projects, reiterated the federal government’s resolve to extend all-out support for the development of province.The prime minister told the meeting that Balochistan had received far more development funds under the Public Sector Development Programme than any other province. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government was on the course of completing its agenda of welfare of the downtrodden, and uplift and prosperity of the neglected areas. Expressing grief over the losses caused by floods in Balochistan, the prime minister appreciated the provincial government’s relief measures. Showing satisfaction over the water level in dams, he said the construction of new dams could open up new avenues for agricultural development. He said the Kachi Canal project was inevitable to resolve the water issues, besides bringing about development in the province.Imran Khan said the progress and prosperity of backward areas along with the welfare and betterment of their residents was the foremost priority of the present government. He said unfortunately, the promises made with Balochistan in the past could not be implemented, however, the allocation of maximum funds for Balochistan in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) by the present government reflected his government’s sincerity and commitment with the province.The prime minister said Balochistan being the country’s largest province in terms of its land had ample potential and opportunities of development. There was a need to set priorities for the development of Balochistan, he said, adding the Kachi Canal provided huge prospects of agricultural development in the province.The prime minister said the country had witnessed improvement in the coronavirus situation, but there was a need to exercise further caution. He said the government would utilize all resources for the progress and prosperity of all areas of the province, especially southern Balochistan. Minister for Planning Asad Umar would soon be visiting the province and hold consultations for finalizing a special package for the development of southern Balochistan, the prime minister added.Asad Umar told the participants that the Ministry of Planning had constituted a coordination committee, having representation from all the stakeholders, regarding the development of Balochistan. The Balochistan chief minister and members of his cabinet thanked the prime minister for taking keen interest in the progress and prosperity of the province.The provincial cabinet members said the measures taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan for the construction sector would create job opportunities and benefit all the stakeholders. They thanked the prime minister for starting work on the Western Corridor. They also thanked the prime minister for starting the planning process for converting the all-important Karachi-Chaman Road into a dual carriageway.