GWADAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that unlike past, the local people would be the first one to reap the benefit of natural resources in ‘Naya Pakistan’, ARY News reported.
He was addressing the groundbreaking ceremony of New Gwadar International Airport (NGIAP) during his visit to Gwadar.
The prime minister also announced various other development schemes for the city which, according to him, would become an engine of growth for Pakistan in the near future.
PM Khan lamented that the locals were kept out of development activities all the while their resources being used by the country for national development, but vowed that it wouldn’t be the case in ‘Naya Pakistan’.
“In the past, the locals were ignored while executing the development projects in Balochistan. Gas worth billions was extracted from Sui, but it could not change the living standard of the local people,” the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the hospital in Gwadar would be enhanced and a vocational training institute would also help create employment opportunities.
He announced that the Federal Government would launch Insaf Sehat Card in Gwadar to provide health insurance cover worth Rs720,000 to every family.
“What a pleasure it is to be in Gwadar. God willing, in coming months, years, Gwadar would be, I see, an engine of growth for Pakistan,” he said.
The prime minister, who earlier unveiled the plaque of the project, thanked the Chinese ambassador for the grant given by the Chinese government for the airport.
Premier Khan assured the fishermen of Gwadar not to worry about their sustenance owing to the construction of the Gwadar East Bay Expressway as special bridges would be built to facilitate them.
He said that previously, the area was being supplied with electricity imported from Iran, but now, the government had decided to link the area with the national grid.
The premier said the [Gwadar] port authority had decided to plant one million saplings in the city as part of the Federal Government’s ambitious ten-billion trees project.
“A desalination plant would also be set up in the city, and under Clean and Green Pakistan, one million saplings would be planted. Besides, a solid waste management system would also be established to protect the area from pollution.
“Gwadar and Quetta would be linked through railways as railways was a preferred travel mode, but unfortunately Pakistan had been lagging in this sector,” he said.
Imran Khan said Chinese support was being sought for up-gradation of the railways’ system as it had the most advanced rail system in the world. He said one could travel from Karachi to Lahore within four hours if you take Chinese train.
He said having located at an ideal location and being well connected, Gwadar’s development would be the development of whole Pakistan.
Prime Minister Khan said he was looking forward to extending bilateral cooperation with China during his upcoming visit in late April in various fields like train technology, agriculture and cage fishery.
Commending the work of the Chinese workers in Gwadar, he said soon a cargo and passenger ferry service would also be launched from Gwadar to Karachi that would later be extended to Qatar.
The federal ministers, Balochistan chief minister, parliamentarians, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Yao Jing besides a huge number of Chinese workers and government officials were also present on this occasion.
Big aeroplanes like Airbus A-380 would also be able to land at the new Gwadar international airport. The new airport would have the capacity to handle 30,000 tonnes of cargo a year.
The airport was included among Early Harvest High Priority Project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor in January 2014. The Chinese government would assist Pakistan for construction of the airport under Chinese Grant Assistance.
The project is part of the overall infrastructure development of Balochistan. It would be developed as a green-field facility with all modern facilities for safe operation.
On this occasion, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for construction of Pakistan and China Vocational Training Institute and Pak-China Friendship Hospital.