PESHAWAR  - Federal Minister for State, Malik Azmat Khan said Sunday the government accords high priority to development of Malakand Division with special focus to uplift of its communication, education, tourism, agriculture and health sectors with an objective to ameliorate socio-economic condition of people.

Talking to APP, Malik Azmat Khan, who has become the first Minister of State inducted in Federal Cabinet form backward Lower Dir district courtesy to President Asif Ali Zardari, pledged to utilize all his energies and resources for development of Malakand and Dir Lower district.

Thanking the President for giving representation to the backward district in the federal cabinet, he said he would work hard to fulfill the trust reposed in him by the President.

He said development of the militancy and floods affected Malakand is the priority of the government as record developmental projects worth billions of rupees have been launched to ameliorate the conditions of poor people and brings them into mainstream of national development.

Following successful military operation that restored peace in Swat and Malakand Agency, the government has now giving focus on development of the areas by starting scores of developmental projects in line with wishes and aspirations of the people.

He said the PPP government was working day and night for better service delivery to masses and reaming period would be utilized for resolution of their problems.

He said NFC awards, Balcohistan Package, Benazir Income Support Programme, reforms in Frontier Crimes Regulations, Provincial Autonomy to federating units, giving identity to Pakthuns and people of Gilgit Baltistan, constitutional, parliamentary and judicial reforms and restoration of peace in Malakand Division are of the major achievements of the present elected regimes.

He said addressing problems of electricity, gas and unemployment would be his top priority.

The minister said land has already been acquired for the construction of Jandool Grid Station to arrest the menace of load shedding and low voltage.

To provide gas facility to the people of the area, the minister said that work on the survey would soon be started.

A Sustainable Malakand Development Plan has been launched for improvement of all sectors including communication, health, education, tourism, agriculture, livestock and drinking water in Swat, Dir and Malakand Agency.

The government accords high priority to education sector as it was an important tool to defeat militancy and terrorism. The Minister said Swat University and Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University Shringal Dir Upper are playing a key role in quenching thirst of students in terms of quality education in diversified fields.

The State Minister said the construction of Chakdara Bridge will help provide better communication facilities to people of Dir Lower, Chitral and Malakand Division and will accelerate pace of development and give boost to trade and business activities.

It may be recalled that the people of Malakand were jubilant over his induction in the cabinet as he had been receiving welcoming calls from his supporters and well wishers from Malakand Division. The people are eagerly waits for arrival of Malik Azmat Khan to Dir Lower after taking oath as Minister for State.