Punjab CM gives Rs132m for Awaran students

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QUETTA: Four years after the devastating earthquake in Awaran district, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif sent a cheque of Rs132 million to Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri to help 550 graduates and interns from the district.

During his visit to Awaran following the earthquake in 2013, the Punjab chief minister had pledged to help the government of Balochistan in upgrading the Awaran Hos­pi­tal, build a park and offer inte­rnship opportunities for 550 graduates from the district.

The cheque was handed over to Mr Zehri by Punjab’s Provincial Disaster Manag­ement Authority (PDMA) minister Mahar Ijaz at an event on Thursday.

The event was attended by a number of graduates from Awaran, Balochistan’s PDMA minister Mir Sar–faraz Ahmed Bugti, Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani and ministers.

Speaking at the event, Mr Zehri said that it was important to enhance coordination between all four provinces to promote national solidarity and understanding among the people.

Mr Zehri expressed his gratitude for the generous contributions for the people affected by the earthquake in Awaran.

“Punjab has always come to help and rescue the people of Balochistan in all kinds of calamities and disasters in the past,” he said, adding that this had strengthened the relationship among people from different provinces.

Mr Ijaz told the chief minister that Punjab would always stand by with their Baloch brethren.

“We have contributed our share to provide relief to those affected by the earthquake as part of our national duty,” Mr Ijaz said, adding that the people of Punjab were keenly interested in development in Balochistan.

Mr Ijaz said that the government of Punjab had already paid Rs85m for upgrading the Awaran hospital and Rs3m for the park. “The Punjab government gave them Rs132m last year as the cost of the internships and now another Rs132m is being given to the graduates for completing their internships,” he added.

Mr Ijaz explained that Mr Sharif had earmarked Rs2 billion for building a cardiology centre in Quetta — work on which would start once they were allotted land to do so.

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