Officials unite to uplift rural areas

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Asim Akhtar

2008-10-20

ISLAMABAD, Oct. 17— Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has called for more rural development in Pakistan. While the major cities such as Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, and Peshawar have gone through vast developments over the years, most rural areas have not.

Zardari has called on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to design proposals that will address key rural disparities.

Federal Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said, “The President has called for the government to work for the uplift and development of rural areas, which have remained neglected in the past.”

He recently briefed Zardari on the status of current rural projects in the country highlighting areas he feels need more investment. Bilour says he plans to work closely with provincial governments to plan a new phase of rural development projects.

Zardari suggested there is a need for government officials to examine best practices of other countries that have successfully bridged an urban-rural gap.

According to U.N. estimates, more than 67 percent of Pakistan’s population lives in rural areas with limited access to basic facilities such as schools and clinics. Rural areas also have only a small fraction of Pakistan’s 10 million Internet users because telecom development has not grown as quickly there as in the major urban areas.

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