KARACHI - Pasban-e-Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor Sunday expressed concern over media reports that Renault would establish its car assembly plant in Faisalabad instead of the megacity, Karachi.

In a statement, he said this would be a great setup for the citizens of Karachi, as it would deprive their educated youth of job opportunities. He said the government instead of accelerating industrialisation of the mega port city is discouraging industrialists and investors, who are shifting their industries and businesses from Karachi to major cities of Punjab, especially Lahore and Faisalabad.

Altaf Shakoor said that it is pity that the largest industrial complex of the country, Pakistan Steel Mills, has been practically closed down by the rulers on dictation of foreign lending agencies. He said the Karachiites think that the Pakistan Steel Mills was also deliberately closed down to shift lucrative iron and steel business to private mills of Punjab.

He said the port city has witnessed a rapid shift of its different industries to other parts of Pakistan, which shows that the rulers want to destroy the economy of the megacity. He said the futuristic project of the Textile City is also in limbo, mainly because it is situated in Karachi and the vested interests do not want to see this megacity as the largest industrial hub of this region.

Pasban leader demanded a thorough probe into the factors leading to the shifting of Renault assembly from Karachi to Faisalabad. He also demanded that the Pakistan Steel Mills should be revived with the help of Russia, or its revival should be linked to the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said the Russian experts had established the Pakistan Steel Mills and they are ideal solution to rerun this vital project. He said not only Renault should be fully facilitated to set up its plant in Karachi but more automobile manufacturers should also be given liberal facilities to set up their business and manufacturing facilities in the megacity, because the demand of automobiles in Pakistan, mainly in Karachi, is on a constant rise.

Altaf Shakoor demanded that the Superhighway from Karachi to Hyderabad and the National Highway from Karachi to Thatta should be developed as industrial corridors on the pattern of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor by setting up new industrial zones and establishing new modern industrial towns. He said the federal and provincial government should play their due role in making the Superhighway and National Highway as modern industrial corridors to create ample job opportunities for our youth and also to boost the national and provincial economies. He asked to develop modern towns, hotels and tourists resorts on the islands, beaches and creeks from Rerhi Goth Karachi up to Keti Bandar to develop the coastal economies. He also asked to provide basic civic infrastructure in all industrial estates of Karachi on priority basis.