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Pakistani PM Pledges Jobs to Help Curb Violence


Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani (C, rear) reviews an honor guard during a passing out ceremony in Quetta October 11, 2011

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani (C, rear) reviews an honor guard during a passing out ceremony in Quetta October 11, 2011

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says job growth and economic development are key to curbing violence in the country's southwest.

Mr. Gilani said Tuesday that the government will provide 20,000 jobs to youths in Baluchistan province. He made the remarks during a speech to army recruits in the provincial capital, Quetta.

The prime minister urged young people to shun violence and militancy, and instead work towards peace. He said Baluchistan had been neglected in the past, which has further contributed to insecurity in the province.

Baluchistan has been the scene of sectarian violence, al-Qaida and Taliban militants attacks, as well as a low-level insurgency.

In Pakistan's northwest Tuesday, militants fired rockets at a meeting convened by a provincial governor, killing one person and wounding at least four others.

Authorities say at least two rockets targeted the gathering early Tuesday in Kalaya, a town in the Orakzai tribal agency. The governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Masood Kausar, was not injured.

Orakzai is one of Pakistan's seven semi-autonomous tribal agencies and the only one that does not share a border with Afghanistan.

While no one claimed responsibility for the attack, the Pakistani Taliban operate in the area and frequently attack government targets. The Pakistani military has launched several operations against militants throughout the country's northwest.

Also Tuesday in Baluchistan, gunmen on motorbikes opened fire on an oil tanker bound for NATO forces in Afghanistan. The truck was set ablaze in the attack.

Attacks on Afghanistan-bound convoys are common in Pakistan, as most of the international coalition's supplies moved overland go through militant-infested areas of the country.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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