On Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan promised universal health coverage for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

PM Khan made this announcement on the oath-taking ceremony of the GB cabinet. Raja Jalal Hussain Maqpoon, the governer of GB, supervised the oath to the 14-member GB cabinet.

“A poor household has to face many difficulties when battling sickness. They sell their possessions, take out loans for medical treatment. So we are introducing health insurance for all of GB,” he said.

The premier said that the government is also working on introducing the Ehsaas program in GB. He further added that every family will have access to Rs 1 million under this health coverage program.

He also conveyed his good wishes to the newly elected government and hoped that they will set new governance standards and try to resolve the public issues.

“No prime minister in Pakistan has seen this region the way I have,” he said, adding that he was aware of the issues being faced by the people of GB as well as the region’s potential.

“What will the new government do? First, we will work on granting the region provisional provincial status so that the prevailing sense of deprivation [among the people] can be eradicated.”

PM said that soon a committee will be formed which will decide about the projects needed in the region.

“You people know better the kind of development you require. We can’t tell you from Islamabad which project is needed. You can make this decision.”

PM Imran reiterated that PTI will try its level best to increase the tourism activities which will help in creating jobs for the local people. “From what I have seen during the past three to four years, there has been an influx of tourists during summer. Sometimes they don’t have places to stay.”

The Prime Minister also assured that the government will keep working on the Skardu Hospital up-gradation so people don’t have to travel long distances for medical treatment.


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