Gawadar should enjoy the status of Free Port on the lines of Singapore and Hong Kong; PM

April 24, 2014

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif chaired high-level meetings regarding “Pak-China Economic Corridor” and “Law and Order situation” in Baluchistan in Gawadar today. The Prime Minister was also briefed about the ongoing development projects in Baluchistan especially in Gawadar. The meeting was also attended by Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, and PM’s advisor Sardar Sanaullah Zehri.

Prime Minister appreciated the efforts and steps of provincial government, civil administration, law enforcement agencies and armed forces in bringing back the normalcy.

The Prime Minister recalled his vision of 90s, when he envisaged Gawadar like Singapore and Hong Kong adding that Gawadar has not been given proper attention in the past. “Gawadar has all the features a free port should have and it should be developed as a free port in lines with Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong Ports.” PM added.

The Prime Minister also announced construction of a 300-beds hospital, school, college and a technical training centre at Gawadar. PM also directed Finance division to release 1.6 billion for Gawadar port dredging (making it deeper).

Gawadar Development will prove a game changer for not only Baluchistan but for the region too, PM said. He directed that the interest of the local people should be protected while developing Gawadar.

Earlier Chief Minister Baluchistan Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch welcomed the Prime Minister on his visit to Gawadar. The CM said that its first time in the history of Baluchistan that 78 per cent of allocated amount has been released to the provincial government. Moreover, Rs. 110 billion, allocated in the NFC, award for this year have been released, he told. Mr. Malik thanked the Prime Minister for taking special interest in alleviating the deprivation of the people of strategically most important province of the country.

DG FWO also briefed the PM on the on-going road projects in Baluchistan, with special reference to Gawadar. PM and CM appreciated DG FWO Major General M Afzal for ensuring transparency in development process and completion of construction work through fast track.

Later talking to the media the PM said that. “Pakistan Army is and its allied institutions like FWO are playing positive role in development of the country. The political and military leadership are on the same page on the progress and prosperity of Pakistan. PM added. Prime Minister also appreciated the commitment of CM Baluchistan towards development of his province. He said that the Gawadar is being developed on modern lines; its airport and sea port are being extended to cater for the future economic activities. He said that Rs. 162 billion have been allocated for Baluchistan in the Pak-China Corridor project.