Posted by: Administrator | 19 September, 2006

President address to the Pakistani Community, Oslo

24 January 2006, Oslo

I am very happy that today after coming to Norway I am addressing the Pakistani’s who are residing here. This is your adopted country by choice. All of you are living here with your own choice so obviously you will have to live as a useful member, a law abiding member of this community and you should perform well in this community’s socio-economic development.

To the youth I would only say that you should specially acquire the knowledge of science and technology so that you can participate in this competitive world and now even in Pakistan, so many opportunities are making way and you should come back to Pakistan where you can utilize your talent more effectively with the knowledge you have acquired here.

So I stress that their should be special emphasis on the acquisition of scientific and technological knowledge as I believe that is the only filed where we are lagging behind so my request to you is that now that you are living in such a modern and progressive country, you should avail this opportunity in the acquisition of modern science and technology.

You should never forget your roots as I have been told that obviously you want to travel back to Pakistan, forum will be activated and as I have told the Minister to help you out with his best ability which InshAllah he will do. Now that you will do so much for this country I would like to say that you should always keep Pakistan in mind and should never forget your roots.

You must invest in Pakistan and you must remit you money through normal and proper channels as much as possible because of these remittances our economy has benefited a lot as at some time of the past the remittances were only 1 billion dollars whereas today it is 4.2 billion dollars with an increase of 400% and this can further increase so if you follow the proper channel you will actually help in boosting of Pakistan’s economy.

You are the ambassadors of Pakistan and you should work for the image building of Pakistan and should work to clear the misperceptions which exist about Pakistan. You should all play a vital role as it is your duty as a Pakistani. Now my concern for Pakistan’s economy is that its benefit should be passed to its public, first of all poverty should be catered with an increase in job opportunities. Though there is a distinct increase in job opportunities with clear indication towards poverty elevation. Poverty and joblessness which was increasing but for the first time there is a downward trend and I am very sure that with the pave we are progressing and with the initiation of development projects, they have a double objective first that to revive the economy and poverty elevation as we have strategized the whole structure by first defining where poverty lies and how can it be elevated, how job opportunities can be increased so that strategy is in place and I am sure that with time their will be a decline in poverty as well as unemployment and I have full faith in this. Now how can this be taken to the public further ahead so I selected some sectors in which I considered that personal instruction can be of some benefit.

First of all we decided that by 2007, every village of Pakistan must have electricity and in this regard WAPDA has been instructed and they have constituted an entire plan which was also presented to me and I will personally monitor its progress. Second task is to provide safe drinking water to the people of Pakistan as 7% diseases in Pakistan are water born and that it why I thought that I should also get into this matter myself with the manufacturing of infiltration plants locally and then we will install these throughout the country in thousands figure so that at least people can get safe and clean water to drink. There are two gas pilot projects initiated as well first in Lillah and second in Gwadar, one is of CNG and the other of LNG and which is on trial ready as well which I am supposed to visit as soon as I get back to Pakistan and witness its success. The idea was to provide everyone we gas as wherever I used to go people demanded gas facilities so we thought that if we build gas tanks, which is nothing new as they are available in a lot of countries, and then this pipeline will be extended to village or a town and be doing so each and every house will have gas accept that tank will be charged through CNG or LNG bowsers. So the gas project which is successful, every village which will of coarse have a size with economic viability but we will massively supply gas everyone. Apart from this in education and health sectors we want to avail whatever joint experience we have gained, Especially in Punjab we are trying to replicate that on all the provinces of the country, I am also trying to spearhead that and in the regard I have called and instructed Chief Ministers and health Ministers. I will monitor this and at district level I will go and inspect that how the educational and health infrastructure is improving, this is InshAllah what we are going to do. 2 Water Preservation i.e. water from the dam when goes down the streams, 45% of it gets wasted in the canals and distributaries. We are brick lining this portion of water courses in Rs 66 billion which will benefit the tail end users and farmers the most and I am sure this will improve our agricultural production.

Now coming to terrorism and extremism and terrorism on which I want to talk as this is one thing which can eat us like pesticide so the danger to Pakistan is not external. Thanks to Allah we have the kind of strength to deal with an external force but this is an internal problem which might not destroy us, and we have to make a strategy for this. Terrorism and Extremism are two separate things.

Terrorism should be defeated with full force with military use which we already doing first in the cities and now in the mountains InshAllah which will be crushed. We cannot allow foreign terrorists to sit in our country and operate and indulge in terrorist activities throughout the world like in Afghanistan and bring a bad face to our country. Travel advisories have gotten against us with a perception that bullets are being fired here, there are bomb blasts and with these perceptions how can the country progress. How can anyone come and invest in Pakistan in this environment so this is what we are trying to cater too but on the side of extremism, extremism is a state of mind, it is more to do with the mind so you cannot use force as every individual has a right to think freely but unfortunately this extremist is the one moves towards terrorism that is why extremism cant be dealt with force, it requires a comprehensive strategy and that strategy has been used in short term against leadership of banned organization. Hate material in form of books, leaflets which propagates sectarian hatred, and pushing people towards fighting with each others and abusing each other, these kinds of people are banned and so are their printers and publishers. Third important thing which I would like to tell all of you is that the use of loudspeakers in mosques to abuse and criticize the other should be stopped. Mosques should only be the place from where good things are propagated.

Coming to Balochistan which you might be hearing about, I want to tell you that nothing is going on, it is not a Baloch issue but there are only three Sardars which call it a Baloch issue and claming that Balochs are being targeted and killed. Let me tell you that Baloch were killed 50 years back when not a penny was being spent on the Baloch unlike today when Rs. 140 billion are being spent on Balochistan. Most of the money being spent on development projects is being done in Balochistan and that too much more than Punjab. Roads are being constructed, dam projects being initiated, and then there are ports as well. There are two projects first is Mirani Dam and then Subakzai Dam, even Coastal Highway has been constructed, Gwadar port has also been made and we are also linking Zokh with Dera Ismail Khan with roads. There are so many projects being initiated in Balochistan like Kachi Canal which is Rs. 35 to 40 billion project. There are some people who do not want progress like we are making a road from Sibi to Kohlu and as I recall which was also started 30 years back in 1970s but those people do not let these roads to be made, they start firing and halt the construction they do not seem to want roads as then progress will reach the public, the people, we want to make schools but it is also halted and when want to do gas and oil exploration, they do not even let us do that. The intention of these people’s anti-nationalists otherwise we are not mad that we initiate an operation there and apart from that these people are maintaining militias and today if these people are not stopped then the situation would become like the tribal lords of Afghanistan who had guns, aircrafts and tanks as well and then after four years one can only resort to war. Why have these people maintained militia’s, how are they getting the money when the land there is barren so knowing all this we can evaluate from where the flow of money is coming, first of all they take money from their own people even portion of a poor man’s money goes in Sardar’s funds. This is injustice which is happening that is why I think there is no operation going on it is purely self defence handled by Frontier Corps.

Now coming to the water Issue. This is in relation with Pakistan and in relation with poverty elevation and in relation with economic growth until we address water issue we will not be able to sustain our 8.4% GDP as we are an agrarian society. Until the growth of agriculture we will not be able to sustain out economy. Water is vital for our agriculture, which is the mainstay of more than 70 per cent of our people in rural areas. If we amend their situation we will alleviate poverty. Water issue is critical to the economic prosperity of Pakistan and for the 3 poverty alleviation of the poor man so therefore we looked into this and analyzed it that the situation of Pakistan will become very critical in 2020 so that is why we started researching this and there are four dams which can be constructed which include Katzara, Akhori, KBD and Bhasha. Previous govts did not have enough sense even to get their feasibility report made at least, feasibility of only KBD was determined. In 2001 I launched feasibility of Bhasha and now its feasibility has been prepared recently. Feasibility of Akhori and Katzara Dam which are also initiated by me are in the process. These are some of the issues. By 2016 we have to make all the dams, there is no escape and I am not going to escape. We are going to make Bhasha Dam which I will launch as soon as I get back then there is Munda Dam on the Frontier, We will also build KBD and Akhori Dam. If we compare KBD and Bhasha Dam then KBD has a lot of advantages because on KBD it’s not only Indus but on Bhasha there is only Indus River and that too the melted water of glaciers because Monsoon clouds do not float there. Whereas there are five rivers on KBD, Kabul River, Swat, Chitral and lastly Soharo and Swan from Afghanistan, these were in flood for last two years. 25 MaF water, one year it was 24 MaF and the second year it was 20.4 MaF got wasted in the sea and this for your information is equal to three Dams, three Dams are equal to just about around 18 MaF. We should also know that according to international law if we are not using the water and it is getting wasted in the sea, upper riparian countries can stop that water by making a Dam. InshAllah we will solve this water issue.

I would now like to first of all thank you all because for your support after the earthquake by collecting funds. I am extremely grateful to Norway to the government that they pledged 75 million dollars for assisting Pakistan. The donor’s conference which was held a few days back this money was pledged then for which we are extremely thankful. We have handled the earthquake in four stages first of all there was rescue operation and now relief operation is going on relief basically has medical aid, food and water ad lastly shelter. We were facing a lot of problems regarding shelter because of scarcity of tents, we needed 5 lakh tents but now 8.5 lakh tents have been transported there.

Reconstruction is the main effort which requires money and strategy. This reconstruction is of houses, schools, medical facilities and governmental institutions. We have made the right strategy and to a proper organization with assurance of transparency and accountability like we have uploaded our entire reconstruction effort on the website even sitting here you can see the reconstruction and rehabilitation effort specifying of what is needed where and who ever is donating a school, college or hospital, basic health unit, rural health centers, teshil district hospitals all these would be uploaded on that website and you should all know that approximately $ 250 billion will be spent there. Roughly 4 billion dollars will be the approximate spending on rehabilitation, relief and reconstruction so you see that area’s destiny and fate will entirely change, that is a remote area and imagine that 250b dollars have been spend there with 80b dollars which will go in the hands of the people for making their houses so InshAllah like I say we will change challenge into an opportunity, this will improve the conditions of those people.

Last point which I want to discuss is about Indo-Pakistan relations. We are trying our best that peace prevails in the region because only through peace, economic growth can be activated, only through peace our trade relations, poverty alleviation, economic growth, commercial activity will increase but we want this peace with honour and dignity. We will never compromise our sovereign equality InshAllah so that is why we were moving on a dual track with India i.e. confidence building measures and conflict resolution. Confidence Building measures are progressing positively but dispute (conflict) resolution is not very encouraging in which Kashmir is the main issue. Unfortunately I am disappointed that this did not have much progress as it should have been. I only hope that India realizes that future permanent peace will never take place until Kashmir dispute is resolved.

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