Posted by: Administrator | 24 January, 2005

President at Ground Breaking Ceremony of Gwadar Deep-Sea Port

22 March 2002

Vice Premier, People’s Republic of China His Excellency, Wu Bang Guo, Chinese Communications Minister, His Excellency Huang Zhendong, Governor Balochistan Amirul Mulk Mengal Sahib, Minister for Communication and Railways, General Javed Asharaf Qazi, Commander 12 Corp, General Qadir, Gwadar’s Nazim Babu Gulab and all the Nazmeen sitting here who have come from different areas of Balochistan. Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Assalam-o-Alaikum, It is indeed a historic day for Pakistan in general, and, for the Province of Balochistan, in particular. This day marks the ground-breaking of the first commercial port on the Makran coast. The construction of Gwadar port has been under consideration for many years. However, for various reasons the work could not start earlier. Today we are here for the earth breaking ceremony of this port. In my conviction we are all here as witnesses to history being made not only for this region, for this province of Balochistan and for Pakistan, but, also history being made in the relationship between Pakistan and China. I think this banner, right behind us, which reads Pak – China friendship journey from Karakoram to Gwadar depicts very truly the relationship that Pakistan and China enjoy which has led from Karakoram in the north of Pakistan as the symbol of this relationship and has reached all the way through Pakistan on to the coast line at Gwadar. This is the journey of our friendship which, I am sure, will reach new heights, with passage of time, it will be maintained and it will grow from strength to strength.

The Makran coastline is of vital significance, especially in the wake of Pakistan’s efforts to boost economic ties with the Central Asian states. Gwadar port will help introduce feeder cargo services to these countries by providing dedicated, efficient and cost-effective port facilities. The infrastructure facilities consisting of road-link, connecting Gwadar to the national highway, will serve as a gateway for trade from land-locked countries of Central Asia. It will serve as the mother-port at the junction of traditional trade routes opposite straits of Hogmouz which lies so close to this base and at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. It will provide an alternative access to the sea for export and import of cargo from and to the northern areas of Pakistan.

The Gwadar port shall provide modern, up-to-date facilities for cargo vessels in line with modern ports. The coastal highway which is also being constructed simultaneously with the port, will provide a very healthy linkage between Karachi and Gwadar ports. If we see this whole region, it is like a funnel. The top of the funnel is this wide area of Central Asia and also China’s western region. And this funnel gets narrowed on through Afghanistan and in Pakistan northern areas into Pakistan and goes through Pakistan and the end of this funnel is Gwadar port. So this funnel, futuristically, is the future economic funnel of this whole region. All the top of this funnel, the broad top of the funnel, any thing going into it or out of it, Pakistan and Gwadar port provides the real input, the inlet and the outlet into it. It will also facilitate the development of shipyards and export of mineral resources of Balochistan.

The development of industrial zones in the port area will create opportunities for employment and private investment in the province of Balochistan and is a demonstration of the present government’s commitment to develop the underdeveloped areas of Pakistan. We intend to build an export processing zone and a free trade area to maximize the potential of Gwadar port. I would like to say something about the job opportunities that the people of Gwadar will get. Thousands of people of this area will get jobs with the start of work on this port.

For 2 Nazim Sahib’s information, the local people of Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur, Pasni and Omara will be given priority in jobs on this project. Secondly, we are going to open up technical training centers in the area to provide training to the people in various categories so that they can get jobs after getting trained. These training centers will provide training to your middle pass, matriculate, intermediate, graduate and post-graduate degree holders in various categories of skills. All the Nazmeen, sitting here, should encourage the local people to get education and technical skill or outsiders will come and avail the opportunities. So if you want to take full advantage of the Gwadar port, you should first equip yourself with education and technical training.

I have told the Minister to regularize the services of temporary employees. We are declaring them permanent. We will definitely keep in mind their interests. But, I will request all Nazmeen to guard their interests, develop their respective area, provide education, improve quality of education so when you compete with others in the centre you are not referred to as “from Balochistan” and “literate but not educated” but, you are considered at part with other developed provinces and A-one.

You can do it if you try. Insha’ Allah you will try and we will help you. But, our help alone will not serve the purpose unless you help yourselves. Ladies and gentlemen, As mentioned by the Minister of Communication, by its mere location the port of Gwadar will have strategic advantages. The port would become much more important and commercially active, once the rail and road infrastructure is fully developed. There is no doubt that Gwadar port, when operational, will play the role of a regional hub for trade and commercial activity.

The people of Gwadar and Makran, as I said, will get ample job opportunities which will raise their standard of living. This will go a long way in meeting my government’s agenda on poverty alleviation. Ladies and gentlemen, The port of Gwadar is being constructed with the financial and technical assistance of our very close friends, the Peoples’ Republic of China. Without their assistance, perhaps, this project may not have taken off.

I would like to avail this opportunity to offer my sincere thanks to the Peoples’ Republic of China for their assistance, particularly His Excellency Prime Minister Zhu Rongji for his personal interest in this mega project. The project will indeed further strengthen our already strong friendly relations. Let me also add, the personal interest of Prime Minister Zhu Rongji when I first broached the subject of his assistance to us in developing this port about ten months back in May last year. It was through his personal interest that the preliminary studies could be completed in this short timeframe of ten months.

I, personally, am obliged to the Chinese Prime Minister for his personal concern for me, myself and for the people of Pakistan and for Pakistan. I am extremely grateful to it. I would also like to congratulate the Minister of Communications, his team, and the technical experts of China and Pakistan for their hard work in completing the planning, designing and commencement of the work in a very short time. May I also commend the effort of the Communications Minister, who, through his personal dynamism, together with the Chinese experts, ensured that this project gets completed in ten months and we are here on the historic day on the earth-breaking ceremony of this port. I am extremely grateful to you, sir. At this time, I would also like to take this opportunity, since I am at Gwadar, to give out to the people of Gwadar what we are already doing for Gwadar and for the whole province of Balochistan.

As the Governor has 3 already pointed out , we do understand that Gwadar was the most remote and deprived province of Pakistan and therefore, my government makes special efforts to ensure full concentration towards the development of Balochistan. I had promised this right in the beginning and I am very glad to say that we have come a long way. To enumerate a very few of the aspects that we have done in the major infrastructure development, the coastal highway and the number of roads which have been developed, I am not going to name them, by the province itself through the dynamism of the Governor of Balochistan obviously through the money that we released for the province.

Other than that, the Saindak copper mine, which was an outstanding project which was closed down and the people of the area were suffering. We have revived that, through again the cooperation and joint collaboration of our Chinese friends. This was one of the projects that we have revived. The coal miners of Balochistan were in extreme distress. This is another area which through the development policy that we have followed, coal mining in Pakistan, all coal miners have benefited tremendously and this is now becoming a booming industry in Pakistan and Balochistan coal miners have gained tremendously from it. Other than that it is the coastal highway obviously and this Gwadar port that we are mainly making and the Mirani dam which we have also launched. So these are mega projects which concentrate on the development of Balochistan.

At the same time, I would like to take this opportunity to give out the education policy and the impact of it of what we are doing for this region. I know that through the efforts of our Education Minister, who belongs to this area, Zubaida Jalal, who is sitting, here eighteen schools have been adopted by the HOUBARA Foundation in Gwadar district alone. These are boys and girls schools. The schools are being maintained and furnished by this Foundation. Teachers and support staff are being given stationery and all the equipment is being provided by them. So, with this, we are trying to provide an environment for the education of the people of this region and the people of Balochistan. I would ask all the Nazims who are sitting here, to encourage education. Without education you will keep remaining in the background – you will keep remaining behind.

So all my brothers “Nazims” you must ensure education. Give full emphasis and ensure quality of education. Do not allow the mishappening in education that happened in all our universities in Balochistan, in the colleges, in the schools. Give quality education. So this is what we are trying to do and I would request the entire government machinery, the Governor and the Nazims to ensure that education is fully emphasized so that you come up at par with other developed provinces of Pakistan. On this occasion, let me also, since the Nazim had raised a point about fifty five workers with the communication department, announce the regularization of the services of fifty five employees, working on the Gwadar port right from the first day of the project. But I exhort the Nazims to encourage the people to get better education and necessary skills in order to compete for job opportunities. I assure you every possible help and cooperation in upgrading the education standard so that students of Balochistan can compete with students of other parts of the country. But our efforts would bear fruit only when the people of the area rose to help themselves.

With this ladies and gentlemen; I am grateful to all of you. I am specially grateful to the Vice Premier from China and the Minister and the Excellencies who have come from China all this way to Pakistan and all this way to this remote area to grace this occasion and sharing our joy on this occasion of the earth breaking ceremony of this Gwadar port. I am extremely grateful to all of you. I pray for the people of this region, for their progress and for their prosperity.

Pakistan-China friendship Zindabad. Pakistan Paindabad.

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