Our Staff Reporter

MULTAN

Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Mr Sun Weidong has said that the China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC) project will turn out to be a passage to progress and prosperity for Pakistan, China and entire region.

Talking to the Commissioner Multan division after his arrival here on a two-day visit on Friday, the Chinese envoy added that besides state-level ties, both the countries needed to forge relations at local government level as it would further boost economic development. He pointed out that Multan was an important city on the proposed corridor and China would launch different projects to promote infrastructure, cotton and mango industry in this town. He further announced that five students of Multan would be given scholarships for getting education at top Chinese institutions.

He said that China and Pakistan were tied with historic friendship and it was need of the hour to further strengthen this bond at public level. He disclosed that colleges to teach Chinese language had been set up in Islamabad, Karachi and Faisalabad while more colleges would be set up in Multan and Lahore in next phase. He further revealed that Chinese investors were ready to make investment in infrastructure in Multan for the construction of by-passes while projects would be launched to improve cottonseed. He declared that China would set up institutions to promote local industry and produce skilled labour.

Referring to Mangoes, he said that Multani mangoes were famous in the world for their unique taste and a programme would be launched under the banner of Farm to China Table to export this fruit to China. He thanked local administration for extending hospitality and facilities to Chinese engineers currently working in Multan.

Multan Commissioner Assad Ullah Khan said on this occasion that multiple undiscovered opportunities for Chinese investment existed in Multan. He added that the town badly needed Chinese expertise and assistance for the resolution of sewerage and other problems. He pointed out that besides road infrastructure, the Chinese investors could launch low-income housing schemes in Multan.

STEPS ON TO COPE WITH FLOOD, CALAMITIES

A state official disclosed on Friday that the government had started adopting measures for coping with emergencies like floods and other natural calamities as funds worth billions have been allocated for this purpose.

DCO Zahid Saleem Gondal told the participants of a meeting here on Friday that the Provincial Disaster Management Authority had been constituted to take quick action in case of any emergency. He said that the Red Crescent Society played key role in relief and rescue activities during emergencies and it would pay 10 per cent of financial aid to be spent on the affectees of any calamity in future.

He disclosed that steps were being taken to offer salaries equal to the pay scales of government to the workers of Red Crescent Society. He added that the volunteers of the society would be given training to make them more effective and attach them to the district government’s relief teams. He said that although there was no flood warning so far, the district administration had finalized its arrangements including mock exercises. He urged upon the masses and philanthropists to purchase more tickets of Red Crescent as this money would be spent on up-gradation of society’s hospital and dispensary.