Friday Mar 29, 2019
QUETTA: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday performed the groundbreaking of Balochistan Health Complex, Quetta-Zhob Dual Carriageway as part of western alignment of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and New Gwadar International Airport.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Imran Khan praised Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal and said, "Balochistan is a lucky province to get a chief minister like Kamal."
"The country was headed towards destruction with the way it was being run previously and the ways of 'Purana Pakistan' had made the country bankrupt. The previous rulers used Balochistan's resources for their personal gains," the prime minister said.
PM Imran lamented, "In the past, politics was only done in Balochistan to win elections. The previous prime minister visited foreign countries five times more than he visited Balochistan."
"In the NFC award, money was increased for Balochistan but it not reach the people. There was no cardiac institute in the province," he regretted. "We will pull Pakistan out of these flawed systems and bring change," PM Imran vowed.
The premier announced that a cancer institute will be made with the help of Pakistan Army and the provincial government.
Speaking about the Quetta-Zhob Dual Carriageway, the premier said it was a difficult project. "The Quetta-Zhob Dual Carriageway will connect the province to other parts of the country," he said.
"We also needed to pay attention towards the western route," PM Imran said and added that the government wishes to make a railway track from Quetta to Taftan and Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid is making efforts in this regard.
"We need to make a master plan for Quetta," he urged while stating that Pakistani cities are expanding. "As cities expand, people will not be able to receive facilities and will face more difficulties."
PM Imran further said that under CPEC, the western route should have been made first.
The premier also stressed the need for a "strong local government system for Balochistan". "Till local government system is not improved, people's quality of life will not be improved. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, we improved the local government system owing to which we emerged successful there for a second time," he added,
"The country also faces water issues for which we are building a dam. We do not want to think about other elections but our country's progress," he asserted. "If Balochistan is focused on then the whole country will progress," he stated.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal also addressed the ceremony and said, ""Prime Minister Imran Khan is working to address the grievances of people of Balochistan."
Kamal thanked the prime minister for starting the work in real terms on the western route of CPEC and said the project is a game changer for the whole region.
"The Balochistan Health Complex is a joint project of Pakistan Army and the provincial government," the provincial chief minister said and praised the role of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for starting this project in collaboration with the government of United Arab Emirates.
"Health is a basic need and this center is a great gift for the people of the province," he stated.
Kamal regretted that development of Balochistan was ignored in the past due to lack of accountability, sustainability and planning strategy.
"The armed forces and people of Balochistan have rendered numerous sacrifices during the last 15 years for bringing peace and stability in the province. Today's Balochistan is much better than that of yesteryears," he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also launched work on New Gwadar International Airport and announced various other development schemes for the city, what he believed would become an engine of growth for Pakistan.
“What a pleasure it is to be in Gwadar. In sha Allah, in coming months, years, Gwadar would be, I see, as engine of growth for Pakistan,” he said addressing the ground breaking ceremony of the airport.
The event was attended by federal ministers, Balochistan chief minister, parliamentarians, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, besides huge number of Chinese workers and government officials.
The airport was included among Early Harvest High Priority Project of the CPEC in January 2014. The Chinese government would assist Pakistan in construction of the airport under Chinese Grant Assistance.
The project is part of overall infrastructure development of Balochistan.
It would be developed as a green-field facility with all modern facilities for safe operation.
The new Gwadar airport would be able to accommodate large aircraft such as Airbus A380. It would comprise a modern terminal building with cargo terminal having initial handling capacity of 30,000 tons per year.
On this occasion, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for construction of Pakistan and China Vocational Training Institute and Pak-China Friendship Hospital.
The prime minister, who earlier unveiled the plaque of the project, thanked Chinese ambassador for the grant given by his government for the airport.
He welcomed the participants of the expo and said the event would grow with each coming year.
Khan assured the fishermen not to worry about their sustenance owing to the construction of the highway as special bridges would be built to facilitate them. He categorically said any development would be of no use unless it benefited the local people.
The prime minister said in the past, the locals were ignored while executing the development projects in Balochistan. He lamented gas worth billions of rupees was extracted from Sui but it could not change the living standard of the local people.
Khan said it was pleasing that the capacity of the hospital in Gwadar would be enhanced and a vocational training institute would also help create employment opportunities.
He announced to launch Insaf Sehat Card to provide health insurance cover worth Rs720,000 to every family.
The premier said previously power was being transmitted from Iran, but now the government had decided to link the area with national grid.
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, he said.
Khan said following the models of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, the government had decided to recycle water in Gwadar to water the plants.
He told the gathering that Gwadar and Quetta would be linked through railways as it was the best travel mode but unfortunately Pakistan had been lagging behind in this sector.
The prime minister further said Chinese support was being sought for up-gradation of the railways system as the country had the most advanced rail system. He said one could travel from Karachi to Lahore within four hours if you take Chinese trains.
Located at an ideal location and being well connected, Khan said, Gwadar's development would be the development of whole of Pakistan.
He 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 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.