China is Pakistan’s closest friend, not East India Company: PM

Shehbaz Sharif urges people of Balochistan to value foreign investors | Says 10pc ‘Super tax’ on large-scale industry aimed at poverty alleviation

GWADAR   –  Prime Minister Sheh­baz Sharif announced the provision of 200 acres of land for the es­tablishment of a resi­dential colony for the fishermen of Gwadar, besides the distribution of 2,000 motorboat en­gines to help them earn a livelihood.

The prime minister stated this in an inter­action with local fish­ermen at Gwadar Busi­ness Centre during his day-long visit to the port city on Friday. The mea­sures were announced in view of the problems faced by the fishermen of Gwadar in the shape of displacement and dif­ficulty in access to the sea that was affecting the fishery sector.

The prime minis­ter said his second vis­it within a month was aimed at holding di­rect interaction with the fishermen and to get their feedback on the issues being faced by them. To ensure mer­it-based distribution of marine engines among the fishermen, he direct­ed the Planning Minis­try to define a criterion with a set of parametres

at the earliest.

The process of transparent bidding, he said, would be car­ried out within three months in line with the PEPRA Rules. PM Shehbaz assured the fishermen of addressing their problems on priority, saying the development of the province was “meaning­less” without resolution of the problems of the locals. It was the government’s responsibility to address the challenges faced by the locals, he added.

He said the federal govern­ment would take the provincial government on board for consul­tations on the development proj­ects. On supply of clean drinking water, he said the Gwadar De­velopment Authority had given assurance to complete the pro­cess of laying new pipes by Sep­tember. Regarding electricity, the prime minister said 29-kilome­tre-long transmission lines for supply of 100 mega watts from Iran was delayed by the previous government, whereas the Irani­an side had completed the proj­ect on its side. He said the gov­ernment would bring the matter before the cabinet for approv­al to ensure availability of pow­er for Balochistan. He said it would develop a base-load of electricity and would be later supplemented by solar projects. An announcement would soon be made on the provision of so­lar panels to the people of Ba­lochistan, he added. He lauded the sacrifices of local people by braving the challenges during the construction of Gwadar Port, which was a harbinger for their prosperity.

The PM said the establishment of Gwadar University had been included in the Public Sector De­velopment Programme (PSDP) and maximum funds would be provided for the education of students at par with rest of the country. He mentioned that the federal government allocated a massive amount of Rs100 billion in the PSDP for the development of Balochistan.

Terming the four provinces brothers, he emphasised the im­portance of sharing resources among them for a win-win situ­ation for all.

The prime minister said China was a closest friend of Pakistan, dispelling the impression that the Chinese projects in Pakistan had any semblance with those of the “East India Company” during the British Raj. He said China had always supported Pakistan at diplomatic and economic lev­els, and urged the people of Ba­lochistan to value the foreign in­vestors whose contribution was significant to the development of Pakistan. Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bezinjo linked the development of Gwa­dar with the prosperity of Paki­stan. He said the Federal Gov­ernment had allocated Rs 1,652 million for the development of Balochistan projects, including the supply of drinking water, and health and education facilities.

He said the provincial govern­ment gave approval to over 200 decisions aimed at the prosper­ity of locals. He mentioned that unnecessary security check-posts were being removed keep­ing in view the trouble faced by the people, while the establish­ment of commercial markets in border areas was on the cards.

The prime minister also lis­tened to the grievances pointed out by fishermen on the occasion and assured them their redressal on priority. Earlier, he witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on establish­ment of a 100-bed hospital with collaboration of GDA and Indus Hospital. The world-class hospi­tal will provide medical facilities to the people of Gwadar and ad­joining areas.

PM, CM Balochistan discuss ad­ministrative matters, political sit­uation Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bezinjo called on Prime Minister Muhammad Sheh­baz Sharif here on Friday. Admin­istrative matters of the province as well as the political situation were discussed in the meeting. Chief Minister Bezinjo appreciat­ed the Prime Minister for visiting Gwadar twice in a month and his vision of giving priority to the de­velopment of Gwadar.

He also welcomed the govern­ment’s decision of providing tar­geted subsidy on five essential items during the next fiscal year and the Prime Minister direc­tion for increasing the number of Utility Stores in Balochistan.

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