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Pakistan on way to regain the lost glory as a model economy: Imran


GWADAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan has underlined the importance of facilitating export-oriented foreign investors for reclaiming Pakistan’s lost glory as a role model for developing countries in the region.
The prime minister said this while addressing the inauguration ceremony of Gwadar Free Zone, Expo Centre, Agriculture Industrial Park and three factories here on Monday.
Prime Minister Khan said that Pakistan is on its way to emerging as a vibrant and model economy in the world, as it had been a role model for development in the 60s. He said his government is facilitating export-oriented investment opportunities in the countries in close coordination with the Balochistan government, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority, as well as the federal authorities. He added his office would monitor the progress of these projects regularly. He assured all-out support to the provincial government in this regard.
He thanked the Chinese ambassador for China’s key role fostering development projects under CPEC in Pakistan. The prime minister termed the China-Pakistan friendship pivotal for regional and international progress. He hailed the Chinese government’s contribution to Pakistan’s development through CPEC.
PM Khan vowed to bring the fruits of Gwadar’s development to Balochi youth. He urged relevant institutions to provide technical and vocational training to Balochi youth and prepare them to avail opportunities coming their way especially through CPEC. He urged that development should be inclusive while giving priority to local people.
He said that development of Balochistan is one of the top priorities of the government which was neglected in the past. He said that several projects under the CPEC will bring development and prosperity to the province.
The prime minister said that he is mulling to hold talks with insurgents in Balochistan so that hostile elements, including India, could not use them to spread chaos.”It is possible that they [insurgents] have grievances and India [can] use them to spread anarchy,” the premier further said.
The prime minister said that practical work on development projects has begun in Gwadar to uplift the living standard of the local people. He said these projects are being established by utilising 2,200 acres of land and the government is initiating a one-window operation facility at Gwadar to facilitate foreign investors in these projects. He said that after completion of the international airport, Gwadar will be directly connected with the world.
He said that the issue of water, electricity and gas to Gwadar will be addressed on priority basis. He said a 500-bed hospital will provide modern health facilities to the locals.
Khan said that connectivity is imperative for the development of Balochistan and Rs730 billion will be spent on infrastructure for this purpose. He said that Gwadar will become a focal point for Pakistan and will be beneficial for the people of Balochistan.
Khan said the government has initiated several mega projects for the welfare of the common people, including Ehsaas Programme and housing scheme for low-income segments. He said, “We should also benefit from the geographical importance and Chinese experience.”
Commenting on the current situation in Afghanistan, PM Khan said that Pakistan is in contact with neighbouring countries to lobby for a political government in Afghanistan, so that peace returns to Afghanistan and resultantly to the region. He said that Islamabad is playing its due role for a successful peace talks in Afghanistan by engaging regional countries and all stakeholders. He said, “We are also trying to contact the Taliban for this purpose.”
He said Central Asian Republics (CARs) are also interested in using Gwadar Port as a trade gateway. He also hailed Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal, CPEC Authority Chairman Saleem Bajwa, and P&D Division for their cooperation and hard work for the development of Balochistan.
Addressing the event, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal said that projects under CPEC are milestones for the development of the province and to change its destiny.
He said that work on western route is underway and huge amounts are being spent on development projects in Balochistan including establishment of technical colleges and a university for the first time in Gwadar.
Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong said relations between Pakistan and China are rapidly strengthening day by day in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Xi. He said that CPEC will change the economic fate of the region as billions of dollars are being spent under this mega project.
Chairman CPEC Authority Lt Gen (Retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa said that CPEC has put Balochistan on the path of progress and prosperity. He said Prime Minister Khan is taking keen interest in developing CPEC projects.
Earlier, Prime Minister Khan inaugurated Gwadar Free Zone, Expo Centre, Agriculture Industrial Park and three factories. The prime minister also witnessed signing of various memoranda of understanding aimed at constructing a state-of-the-art hospital, airport, and a vocational institute as well as addressing the water and power problems of Gwadar.
Meanwhile, expressing satisfaction at the upward trajectory of bilateral relations, Pakistan and Iran have agreed to further boost existing cooperation, particularly in the economic sector.
The consensus to this effect was expressed during a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Iranian President-elect Syed Ebrahim Raisi the other day, according to a statement issued from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Referring to the opening of three markets along the border between the two countries in June this year, the two leaders affirmed that the establishment of markets is an “important” step, which would yield economic and social benefits for the people of both countries.
The two countries are sorting out different ways, including a free trade agreement, to boost their trivial bilateral trade volume. Currently, the bilateral trade between the two neighbours stands at $359 million.
Last September, Prime Minister Imran Khan had approved the establishment of 18 markets along the borders of Iran and Afghanistan. Of them, 12 will be established near the Afghanistan border.
In the regional context, Khan and Raeisi discussed the worsening security situation in Afghanistan following the largely completed US pull-out from the war-torn country. The prime minister cautioned that the latest developments could lead to “serious” repercussions for both Pakistan and Iran, resulting in an influx of refugees towards the bordering areas of the two countries. Khan underscored the imperative of a negotiated political solution to the decades-long conflict in the war-raked country, the statement said.
The two sides emphasised the need to continue facilitating an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” inclusive political settlement. The two countries together have already been hosting nearly five million Afghan refugees.
Expressing concern at the “serious human rights situation” in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine, the two leaders emphasised the need to resolve these long-standing disputes in line with the UN Security Council resolutions.
Khan also congratulated Raeisi on his victory in the presidential elections in June.
The two sides agreed to maintain high-level exchanges, with both leaders extending invitations to each other to pay official visits. – TLTP