Game changer: ‘Tharparkar’s development answer to criticism of CPEC’

HYDERABAD: Defending the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto -Zardari has said Tharparkar’s development is the game changer and real answer to the criticism of the project.

“I want to carry this model [of Tharparkar’s development] to Balochistan where many CPEC projects are in progress. It will make sure that the local population is benefited like the population in Tharparkar,” he said on Wednesday in Tharparkar where he inaugurated the desert region’s first airport, named after a pre-partition peasant leader Mai Bakhtawar. CPEC proves to be a game changer not only for Pakistan but also for the entire region.

The Sindh government financed construction of the Rs2.2 billion facility with an objective to facilitate travel of the local and foreign investors engaged in coal mining and power generation projects in Thar Coal Block II.

“It isn’t China’s responsibility but only Pakistan’s to ensure that the economic benefits of these projects reach the ordinary people,” Bilawal Bhutto underscored.

He said the Sindh government’s public-private partnership model had produced successful results in Tharparkar where the coal project had brought about an economic revolution.

PML-N finished with Nawaz sent packing: Bilawal

“I can say if the greatest change has happened anywhere in Pakistan, it is in Thar,” he affirmed.

“A revolution has come to Thar but we haven’t told all Pakistanis about it,” he added.

Bilawal also appreciated the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company, in which the provincial government has a majority shareholding.

He said the company had completed the mining and electricity generation works in a timely manner.

He said the provincial government and the company were working on the education and health projects for the local people in addition to the local handicrafts and other businesses.

“I got my lunch today from food grown through the bio-saline agriculture,” he said, sharing his excitement about the agricultural development.

He recalled that his mother, former prime minister and PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto, in the 1990s had envisioned Tharparkar’s development which began to materialise more than two decades later. According to him, the public-private partnership model also prominently featured in the party’s manifesto when his mother led the PPP as “the way forward for Pakistan” and proves to be a game changer for PPP.

SECMC proposes coal royalties be used for Thar’s development

He said the PPP’s scope was not limited to making money against an investment but also to look after the local people by providing with them jobs, economic opportunities, health and education facilities and imparting skills.

The PPP’s chairman accused the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s federal government of being unjust with the provinces. He claimed that his party kept fighting and protesting with the Centre for five years, demanding implementation of the 18th constitutional amendment, the NFC award and the 1991 water accord but to no avail.

He went on to blame the Centre for deliberately avoiding to provide the required support to the provinces like helping with sovereign guarantees. Bilawal believed that the Balochistan and K-P governments also shared similar complaints against the PML-N’s federal government.

“This is the biggest problem of Nawaz Sharif’s government. He remained the prime minister of only one city and not the whole country.”

To a query, Bilawal said that among the provinces, Sindh initiated and completed a higher number of electricity generation projects. However, he regretted that the power produced in Sindh was prioritised to supply cities in Punjab.

He also complained that during the last five years, the federal government only focused on power generation while neglecting upgradation of power transmission.

When asked to comment on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan’s wish to contest the upcoming general elections from Karachi, Bilawal said his party would inflict an exemplary defeat on Khan.

“I have already invited and challenged him [Khan] to come and contest from Karachi.”

, ,

Chinese experts delegation visits mineral side of Balochistan’s Muslim Bagh

QUETTA: Secretary Industrial Balochistan Ahmed said that Chinese experts would train the youth of province in technical and industrial sectors in order to get opportunities of mega project China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the country.

He said this while briefing six members of Chinese delegation when they visited the Muslim Bagh’s mineral area and Special Economic Zone in Bostan in connection with investment opportunities in Baluchistan.

Muslim Bagh was formerly called Hindu Bagh, which is believed to have originated in a garden that was planted here by a Hindu saint in ages past. Later it was named as “Muslim Bagh” by former minister Moulvi Saleh Muhammad Mardanzai of that time .

The Chinese experts delegation visited mineral and chromites side area of Muslim Bagh where they were also briefed about recovered chromites. “Chinese and Balochistan experts jointly will play their role in development and prosperity of the people of Pakistan and province”, he said in a briefing. He said Balochistan is rich in mineral resources where foreign investors could take benefits in these fields.

Secretary noted that under the CPEC, Balochistan is emerging investment province around the world and adding that he hoped that the Chinese specialist delegation would play their key role in boosting investment in Balochistan.

Regional Director Federal Board of Investment Dr Riaz, Director Mines and Mineral Khalid Achakzai, Deputy Director of Mines, Syed Muzaffar Bukhari, Syed Rafiq-Ullah were accompanied with Chinese delegation during visiting.


Under CPEC: First container vessel anchors at Gwadar


The first ever container vessel MS TIGER under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project arrived at the Gwadar port on Wednesday, this vessel was escorted to the port by the navy ships, PNS DEHSHAT and KARAR where an impressive ceremony was held to welcome the ship onboard.

The new ship container service called the Karachi-Gwadar Gulf Express will connect the Gwadar port to the Middle Eastern hub of Jebel Ali as well as the neighboring Emirati ports.

PM to visit Gwadar amid concerns over anti-CPEC propaganda

CPEC is a game changer for Pakistan and its success is just a prelude to the economic prosperity of the country and hence has taken central stage in the economic, political and security calculus of not only Pakistan but the entire region”, said Commander Coast of Pakistan Navy, Rear Admiral Moazzam Ilyas while speaking at the reception ceremony.

He also said that considering the importance of the Gwadar Port as focal point of CPEC, its security is paramount. For this purpose, the Pakistan navy has raised Task Force 88 to provide maximum defence to the port and its surrounding areas.


Balochistan government working to meet energy requirements

ISLAMABAD: Balochistan government has taken effective steps to meet energy requirements in remote areas of the province.

An official of Provincial Energy Department told Radio Pakistan that several villages were being provided electricity in Kech district at a cost of Rs66 million to the government.

Similarly, solar energy system was set up in Pishin district at a cost of Rs53 million for water supply schemes.



China in talks with Baloch separatists: report

China has reportedly been engaging in low-key dialogue with Baloch tribal separatists for over five years. Talks have been held to appease the separatists in order to securitise the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which has projected investments worth of $60 billion.

According to the Financial Times, three people have shared details of Beijing being in direct contact with militants in Balochistan.

Pakistan looks to China, Saudi Arabia for succour

Beijing has so far maintained a policy of non-intervention in the domestic politics of other countries. However, the sheer magnitude and scale of its multifaceted investments in all windows of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project have sharpened security sensibilities. The vision to create a “new Silk Road” of trade routes in Europe, Asia and Africa has led China to venture into conflict management.

It seems like Beijing is replenishing the void left by Washington, which went from being Pakistan’s war time ally to becoming one of its harshest critics on extremism.

The venturesome and risk intensive move by China has perturbed India, which fears China’s growing influence in the Global South.

The Asian Dream: Rabbani lauds launch of Mandarin classes

“The Chinese have quietly made a lot of progress,” said one Pakistani official. “Even though separatists occasionally try to carry out the odd attack, they are not making a forceful push.”

China treads into some of the world’s most complex conflict zones as it plans to connect a new silk road. South Sudan, Mali and Iraq are some of the places where China has heavy stakes in place.


Rural areas : Govt committed to improving means of communication


The government is utilising all available resources to improve means of communications evenly in urban and rural areas of the country, said Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif.

Addressing the laptop distribution ceremony at Government College for Women University, he said the basic concept for improving means of communications, was to bring far-off and neglected areas at par with the developed parts of the country.

The foreign minister said the mega project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would play an instrumental role in bringing revolutionary change and usher in economic stability and prosperity, not only in the country but also in the whole region.  He was confident that Gwadar Port would emerge as the busiest port and play a dominant role in ensuring drastic economic stability and overall development of the country as well in the region.

Gwadar Port and CPEC projects would open a new vista of prosperity and development and enlarge the scope of employment opportunities for the people, he added. He added that the economic stability had become more vital at this juncture for making the country economically stable, bringing prosperity and boosting development process.

Asif said banishing of backwardness and elimination of poverty were on the top of government agenda and many steps had already been taken in this direction.


, ,

CPEC to bring socio-economic benefit to whole region: Ziyu

China’s infrastructure construction tycoon says Pakistan is his second home


Terming Pakistan as his second home, Vice President, China Communication Construction Company (CCCC), Sun Ziyu has believed that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would bring socio-economic benefits not only to China and Pakistan but also the neighbouring countries and world.
“I believe, the CPEC, a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping for the shared prosperity of humankind, will benefit China, Pakistan, neighbouring countries and the world,” he said while talking to APP in an interview.
He informed that CCCC, dedicated to the construction, investment, development and operation of infrastructure in the countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) including Pakistan, was already working on various projects including the Gwadar Port under the CPEC framework.
Sun said that his company was one of world’s largest port designers and constructors, leading designers and constructors of highways, bridges and well-known comprehensive city developer, “We are planning construction of Gwadar smart city.”
He said that last year, his company’s new contracts in overseas achieved the total value of US$41 billion, the turnover of US$20.3 billion and a total profit of US$ 1.35 billion.
Having experience of dredging, international designing and expressway and bridges building, the company would construct a dry port in Gwadar.
“We have selected a land measuring five square kilometres for the dry port,” he added. China Harbour, a subsidiary of his company, was working on construction of East Bay Expressway project, he said. The vice president shared that his company was likely to play a pivotal role in the up-gradation and rehabilitation of Pakistan Railways under the CPEC, the project was at the planning stage.
He informed that his company had built a total of more than 10,000 kilometres of highways and signed contracts or built more than 2,000 kilometres of railways around the world.
The Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge railway in Kenya completed and launched to operation last year had aroused the attention of Africa and the whole world, he said and added, “We are also accelerating the progress of such projects as the Nairobi-Maraba Railway in Kenya and the East Coast Rail Link of Malaysia with a contract value of nearly US$10 billion.
The vice president said that his company took part in construction of the bridges on the most important Karakuram Highway (KKH) in Pakistan, adding the project teams had almost become an emergency rescue squad for local government.—APP


CPEC’s HEC building education city in Gwadar

QUETTA: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) unit of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) held a special consultative meeting to review the ongoing government university and educational city projects in Gwadar.

“Establishment of Government University Gwadar in due time and duration is an important target for all of us,” said HEC head Lt Gen (retd) Mohammad Asghar at the Balochistan University of Information Technology Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEM).

Members of Technical Review Committee, BUITEMS Vice Chancellor Dr Ahmed Farooq Bazai, University of Turbat Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Abdul Razaq Sabir, Quaid-e-Azam University Professor Dr Zafar Nawaz, Balochistan Higher Education Secretary Abdula Jan, senior professors of universities and other government officials were also present on the occasion.

“Best teachers and faculty will be appointed on merit only,” the HEC head said.

The committee discussed employment opportunities which would be provided after completion of the CPEC projects. Special focus was made on provision of technical training to the youth of Gwadar.

In the meeting, comprehensive consultation was conducted for construction and establishment of world class government university in Gwadar and launch of certain educational and technical training programmes and courses.

The consultation process included heads of many government departments, universities, and other institutions of Balochistan so that the people of Balochistan could benefit from the completion of CPEC.

BUITEM vice chancellor said, “Youth and students of Balochistan are not lesser than any of us. We have to equip Baloch youth technically in order to promote economic rehabilitation of the local people.”

Earlier, Bazai had welcomed the meeting’s participants and gave a comprehensive briefing on the modern facilities available at BUITEM.


Baloch militants can’t endanger CPEC project: Chinese envoy

Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing on Saturday said that Baloch militant organisations the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), while sitting down for an interview with BBC Urdu.

He added that members of such militant groups were “not true Pakistanis”.

Jing assured that the Gwadar port would be transformed into one of the world’s trading hubs owing to the improving security situation in the country in the last few years.

“If they [Baloch militants] are true Pakistanis, they should work in the interest of Pakistan,” he said.

He discounted their capacity to become a threat to the CPEC project.

The envoy also expressed his satisfaction with the security dispensed to 10,000 Chinese nationals working on various projects in the country.

Govt struggles to defend tax waiver to Chinese firm

Back on December 9 of last year 70 Baloch separatist militants, including commanders, renounced violence and laid down their arms on Saturday at a ceremony Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri and Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa were among the participants.

The Ferraris belonging to Baloch separatist groups announced submitting to the writ of the state and becoming part of the national mainstream.

At least 70 Baloch separatist militants, including commanders, renounced violence and laid down their arms on Saturday at a ceremony with then Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri and Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa were among the participants.

The Ferraris belonging to Baloch separatist groups announced submitting to the writ of the state and becoming part of the national mainstream.


China, UNDP sign $4m agreement to help FATA, Balochistan


China and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Friday signed a $4 million agreement to support the recovery of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Balochistan that have been affected by natural and human-made crises.

According to the agreement, the project, which is funded by the “China South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund”, is expected to help 8,100 families returning to the areas affected by insecurity in Fata, as well as about 19,000 school children in Balochistan after their schools were damaged in the 2010-2011 floods.

UNDP Pakistan Country Director Ignacio Artaza said that Fata and Balochistan are among the country’s least developed regions and have been severely affected by disasters in recent years, adding that the support from the Chinese government will help temporarily displaced families get back on their feet and ensure that schools in Balochistan meet the necessary conditions to keep young students in school.

China contributes $1m for FATA IDPs

For his part, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said that the successful launching of this project renewed China’s commitment to deliver strong support to the people of Pakistan.

He vowed that China will continue to increase the Grant Assistance to Pakistan in the future by enriching the categories and sectors, expanding the input into areas with pressing demands, including Fata and Balochistan.

According to the UNDP, the project is built on the UN agency’s ongoing support for early recovery and rehabilitation of affected populations in Pakistan and will provide some 8,100 families in Kurram, South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Khyber and Orakzai agencies with construction kits to rebuild their homes, as well as essential household items.

Balochistan crisis unlikely to impact FATA reforms

In the meantime, 375 schools in Balochistan’s Naseerabad, Jafferabad and Sohbatpur districts, which were the worst affected by the 2010-2011 floods, will receive new furniture and education kits.

It is the second project supported by the “China South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund” in Pakistan. In November 2017, the fund provided 1 million U.S. dollars to the World Food Program to help the organization’s initiative in FATA for humanitarian adds.

The “China South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund” aims at providing finance support to cooperate with international organizations in helping eliminate poverty, improve living conditions and facilitate sustainable development in developing countries.