GWADAR, Mar 20 (APP):? President General Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday said the operationalization of the country?s first deep-sea port would turn Gwadar into a major industrial, trade and energy hub of the region and will usher in an era of progress and prosperity.Inaugurating the Gwadar Port, the President also announced plans for setting up the country?s fourth port at Somiani with a resolve to undo the neglects of the past by the previous governments, by launching several mega development projects for the province.
The President, along with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and in presence of several other cabinet members, pressed a button to operationalize the huge 40 tonne capacity cranes at the port to start removing containers from one of the three ships anchored at the berths.
The President warned the handful of miscreants in Balochistan not to interfere with the government plans of development and vowed to lift the province out of backwardness.
?You must lay down your weapons, do not interfere in Balochistan?s development and if you persist I warn you that you will be dealt with sternly,? he said and added that such people do not want to see their people improve their economic condition as they felt it would erode their authority.
The President said that nations cannot progress if they oppose development. He said in the days to come the people of Balochistan will see more facilities and infrastructure development.
?I derive my power from the people and since you are with me, I have nothing to worry and to fear those who are against development,? President Musharraf told the large gathering here at the Gwadar Port, including women and children.
President Musharraf said that it was the first time that so many cabinet ministers gathered at Gwadar and recalled that there was only ?bellowing dust and sand? when he came six years back.
?Just see this development, the beautiful buildings that have cropped up, the road, electricity and water that are now available,? he said and added that a new airport will be built with the Chinese assistance.
The President also spoke to the gathering in Balochi, to which the large crowd responded with enthusiasm. He said there were some people who said that the jobs at Gwadar will be handed over to ?outsiders? and said he stood with the deprived people of the province.
?I am with you and will always stand by the deprived,? he said and added that no one needed to worry and added that ?no one can ever take their place as they were the sons of the soil having their due share.?
He said a study was underway for the Gwadar-Dalbandin and Kandhar railway link, besides a 950 km long Gwadar-Turbat-Khuzdar-Ratodero road which was being constructed to facilitate movement of goods and people with the rest of the country.
The President said the government has lined up development projects worth Rs 130 billion for the province that were far more than those in other provinces.
He said there were some people who complained that Punjab was not happy with Balochistan?s progress.
?Nothing could be far from truth. The people and government of Punjab have no objection to the huge ?spendings in Balochistan and measures to lift it out of poverty and depravation,? he added.
He said progress and development of Balochistan was the progress of Pakistan and said the government will continue with its efforts to bring about a positive change in the lives of the common man.
The President said that the Coastal Highway was being extended up to the border of Iran while Gwadar was being linked with road, rail and air to the rest of the country and beyond.
He said in future the government visualized Gwadar Port to be used as a route for trade and energy for China, Afghanistan and other Central Asian Republics and added that all trade routes will pass through here.
The Mirani dam will irrigate 35,000 acres of land. In addition the Subakzai, Bolan and Nolang dam and the Kacchi canal will irrigate 0.7 million acres and will help meet agricultural needs of the local farmers.
The President said similarly the government was undertaking bricklining of water courses and will spend Rs five billion in the province over a period of two years.
The President announced setting up of a Marine College at Gwadar, to be funded equally by the provincial and the federal governments, Rs 10 million for improvement of health, education and sewerage system of Gwadar, besides another Rs 50 million for its rural areas.
He also announced a Fishermen Colony, having all basic amenities of life, besides a Fisheries Training Centre to impart modern skills to the fishermen.
Addressing particularly the large number of women present at the inauguration, the President asked them to concentrate on imparting education and skills to their children and said eight cadet colleges were being set up in the province, besides 1000 scholarships would be awarded to outstanding children.
He also announced a gift of 2000 sewing machines for those who came from far away to attend the gathering.
The President also mentioned the national internship programme and the technical schools being set up by the Army to train youth in different skills.
He said the POF, HIT and other organisations have also been directed to train and acquire the services of youth from Balochistan.
The President also mentioned the issue of Chief Justice and said the matter will be addressed under the law and the constitution of Pakistan.
He warned against politicizing it and said ?no one should use it for hatching political conspiracies.?
?Such political conspiracies will be overcome with
the help of the people of Pakistan . . . the people of Pakistan are with us . . . and I have full faith that anyone daring to conspire against the country will be crushed with the help of the people of Pakistan,? he said and added that no such conspiracy will be allowed to succeed.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in his remarks described the inauguration as a historic day that will change the destiny of the people of Balochistan and said from the dusty dunes of Gwadar a modern landscape was emerging.
He urged the people of Balochistan to work hard, for the development and progress of their province and the country so that everyone benefits from the economic gains.
?Let those who are against progress know that they cannot succeed,? he said and urged the people to vote for those who favour development in the next general election.
The Prime Minister said the coastal highway will be extended up to Iran and bring in more economic opportunities for the people of the area.
He said the new airport will operate under the open skies policy and bring in tourists from all over the world to enjoy the rich natural beauty.
The President, along with the Prime Minister also visited the memorial of those Chinese workers who were killed during the construction of the Gwadar Port.
He paid rich tributes and said his dream would not have materialized without the help of Chinese people and government.
He said it was the deep friendship between Pakistan and China that has turned his vision into reality and helped the country enter a new era of economic prosperity.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 March 2007 )|