QUETTA   -   Expressing condolences with the victim families of recent terror attack in Quetta’s Hazarganji market, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday called for joint efforts to foil the enemy’s nefarious designs for creating any chaos in the country.

The prime minister, who arrived here on a short visit, expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the ruthless incident while meeting a delegation of the Hazara community at a city university – where he also addressed the ground breaking ceremony of Naya Pakistan Housing Program. He said that full implementation of National Action Plan was essential and the government was resolved to eliminate terrorism and extremism from the country.

The prime minister, along with others, prayed for peace to the departed souls and early recovery of the injured.

Imran Khan assured the victim families that the government stood by them and the perpetrators of the Hazarganji incident would be brought to justice. No laxity would be tolerated for maintenance of peace, he added.

The prime minister also announced five percent quota in the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme for the families of the martyrs.

He said the federal and provincial governments were responsible to provide security to their citizens and “God willing, we will accomplish this mission.” He said time was not far when the government would provide a peaceful atmosphere to its citizens.

The prime minister said the anti-state elements wanted to create division and chaos among the people, therefore, joint efforts were required to foil such nefarious designs of the enemies.

He said the Pakistan Army, security forces, police and FC personnel as well as the people had rendered numerous sacrifices, which also helped improve security situation.

Earlier, PM Khan unveiled the plaques for construction of 110,000 houses in Quetta and Gwadar - including 54,000 units for fishermen - to mark the launch of Naya Pakistan Housing Program in Balochistan.

Then he addressed the project launch ceremony, at the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering, and Management Sciences (BUITEMS).

Khan said that the political leaders who had plundered the country during the last decade and burdened the country with excessive debts would be taken to task and made an example.

“However long it takes, we will get them punished who have done this to the country, just to make them an example to serve as a deterrent for those contesting elections in future [with the intention of committing corruption],” the PM remarked.

The event was attended by Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Governor Amanullah Yasinzai, Federal Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema, federal and provincial cabinet members and senior government officials, besides a huge number of students.

The prime minister said the Sharifs and Zardari wanted to remove the government fearing jail as new facts concerning their corruption were coming to fore with every passing day. He said Maulana Fazlur Rehman wanted to wind up the whole system after his defeat in the general elections.

Imran Khan said the project of five million houses was to fulfil the dream of those who could not afford to have their own houses, particularly the salaried class and other low-income groups. He said despite being a basic need, owning a house had become even more difficult with the skyrocketing real estate prices.

He said unfortunately, in the existing banking system, the availability of loan facilities were limited to the elite class. However, the government was making legislation to extend it to lower income groups. Currently, only 0.2 percent people in Pakistan availed housing finance against 80-90 percent in Europe, 30pc in Malaysia and 10pc in India, he informed.

The prime minister told the gathering that foreign companies were interested in investing in the housing project that would also boost another 40 allied industries, besides creating jobs. He said instead of awaiting the government jobs, the youngsters should form their own constructions firms.

He directed the Balochistan chief minister to design a master plan of Quetta and allow the vertical construction to discourage the spread of the city.

Imran Khan urged the youth to study the principles of Madinah state which conquered two super powers of that time despite being far smaller in size and resources. He said his government wanted to develop Pakistan on the principle of Madinah state which featured compassion for the poor and fulfilment of their basic needs including education, health and justice. He said during last 70 years, only the elite class enjoyed all facilities in Pakistan. It was for the first time that influential corrupt elements were being arrested, he added.

The prime minister assured the gathering that the government would uplift the ignored areas of Balochistan, tribal areas and interior Sindh. He said the country would face tough times for a short period that would follow the good days. He said starting from his cricketing career to building cancer hospital and now the politics, he kept up his struggle ignoring all discouraging voices and faced all challenges. He said realizing the immense potential of Pakistan, the companies from Turkey, Malaysia and China were coming to invest in Pakistan.

Earlier, Vice Chancellor of the university presented a souvenir to the prime minister.

Federal Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema in his address said that on Governor Balochistan’s desire, the university students would also be engaged in the housing project.

He said on Kuchlak Road, around 4000 flats would be constructed to accommodate maximum number of government employees. The Housing Foundation was also building houses for the fishermen in Gwadar, he added. He said the target of five million houses was achievable if the leadership was honest and sincere.

Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan said the frequent visits of the prime minister to Balochistan manifested his sincerity and seriousness for the resolution of the problems of the people in the province.

He said the real leaders always formulate policies keeping in view the future needs of the country. He said soon the government’s policies would come to fruition making the country progress. He said the project would fulfil the dream of huge number of people including the government who owned no house.

Federal Secretary Housing Dr Imran Zaib said Pakistan faced shortage of up to 12 million housing units mainly due to red tape which discouraged the private sector. He said a draft bill for establishment of Naya Pakistan Housing Authority was ready for parliament’s consideration. He said the government had agreed to reduce the taxes on loans by half from 40 to 20 percent to make it affordable for low-income class.

The ceremony also observed the silence to condole the recent killings in Balochistan in different terror attacks.