Iron ore was discovered at Chiniot and was announced over 20 years ago, but it was forgotten. Massive reserves of iron ore in Kalabagh were confirmed in the 50’s and Krupps of Germany offered (in 1956) to establish steel mills but all this was swept under the rug. Subsequently, Salzgitter of Germany made 5000 ton, high quality steel from 15,000 ton Kalabagh iron ore in Germany, to confirm suitability of this ore and offered (in 1967) to set up a steel mills but our governments forgot this. Pak Steel submitted PC-II in November 1990 to commence work on this project as per PPP manifesto but then stopped.

All these are like mysterious sightings of UFO, why has our government never made any effort to make this country self sufficient? The present PM ordered work on the project (JANG May 05, 1999) but forgot it after the November 1999 coup. It is pertinent to mention here that over 80% minerals required by steel mills are available in Kalabagh. All relevant records of Kalabagh Steel Mills project and Nokkundi Iron Ore Project were transferred from PIDC to Pak Steel Mills Corporation (PSMC) in 70s. Corporation was tasked to manage Pak Steel and develop steel sector which was forgotten. I appeal to the PM to kindly revive Nokkundi iron ore project and Kalabagh Steel Mills project as well to meet fast increasing steel requirements met through imports.

M AKRAM NIAZI,

Rawalpindi, February 15.