GWADAR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday inaugurated a string of development projects in Balochistan including a dam, Gwadar Free Zone Business Complex and a University — all aimed at mainstreaming the country’s remotest areas.
Addressing a ceremony at the inauguration of the development projects here earlier today, PM Nawaz said Gwadar will soon be Pakistan’s most prosperous city.
He said the Gwadar Port was an integral part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the city was on way to becoming an international hub.
The prime minister unveiled plaques of projects that included Gwadar Free Zone which would be exempt from taxes for 23 years and cover an area of 2,300 acres. The infrastructure would be completed in a year’s time and is being constructed by China’s Overseas Port Holding Company.
He unveiled plaque for a Business Service Complex that would house offices of companies involved in export, import and trade. The building would later house a Container Terminal also.
He also inaugurated a school at Gwadar gifted by the Communist Party of China. It was constructed at a cost of USD 400,000 in a low-income area in six months.
PM Nawaz inaugurated the Shadikaur dam, which is 130 km from Pasni and 70 km from Gwadar, with a storage capacity of 45,000 acre feet. Work on the project began in June 2011. The lake covers an area of 1,813 sq km and would meet the irrigation and drinking water needs of the people of the area.
The prime minister also unveiled plaque for the University of Gwadar which would provide quality higher education to people from the remotest areas of the country and help them play their part in national development.
Highlighting the government’s plans for the city, PM Nawaz said that several projects were underway to cater to energy and drinking water needs of the region.
He said that an international airport with the latest facilities would be constructed in Gwadar, which would link the city to the Gulf as well as Europe.
Gwadar motorway would connect the city to the rest of Pakistan, the prime minister said.
He said that these development projects would create jobs for 50,000 people.
“Gwadar is Pakistan and Pakistan is Gwadar,” he said, adding that the projects were expected to be completed as per schedule.
Talking about Pakistan’s energy situation, PM Nawaz said that China was playing a crucial role in combating energy crisis in Pakistan.
“Loadshedding would be eliminated by 2018,” the prime minister said.
PM Nawaz further said that Gwadar was now a peaceful city and lauded National Security Advisor Gen. (Retd) Nasir Janjua’s role in ensuring peace in the region.
PM Nawaz Sharif was accompanied by Governor Balochistan Mohammad Khan Achakzai, Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, Gen. (Retd) Qadir Baloch, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Bizenjo, National Security Advisor Gen. (Retd) Nasir Janjua and China’s ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong.