Published: January 24, 2018
QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has pledged to defend the basic rights of the residents of Gwadar, saying that they will not be converted into minority following the development of Gwadar under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“The provincial government will make laws in order to defend and protect the rights of the people of Gwadar,” said the Balochistan chief minister while addressing a news conference at the CM Secretariat on Tuesday.
CM Bizenjo said that he would take all stakeholders on board for framing laws that defend the legitimate and fundamental rights of local residents, adding that he would seek help from experts and lawyers in doing so.
He said, “There is no question of converting the Baloch people into minority in their own homeland as his government is committed to avert and dispel such dangers in the future also.”
On future investment for development of Gwadar and its surrounding areas, Bizenjo said that the local people would be shareholders and the youth would get preferences in getting employment first.
He said he was disappointed when officials briefed him on Gwadar, its problems and development that there was no planning or concentrated action to develop Gwadar as the first port city of Balochistan.
The chief minister deplored that there was no planning for massive development on the economic front regarding Gwadar Port operation and its related development projects. The past governments ignored these factors and failed to boost development work in a planned manner, said Bizenjo.
There should have been a separate secretariat or an economic desk for implementing the CPEC or its related projects, said the CM. “There is no information available about the CPEC for the common people and there is no desk to deal with CPEC projects in Balochistan,” said Bizenjo.
The ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif had paid a visit to Gwadar and announced a development package for it and its surroundings, he said, adding that “The provincial government had prepared Rs1 billion package for Gwadar and despatched it to the federal government in 2017, but till date there is no response from the Planning Commission of Pakistan.”
He called for making the Board of Investment effective and functional to attract national and foreign investment for Gwadar’s development projects.
He deplored that the huge sector is ineffective and dysfunctional to this date.
However, the CM announced that on his part he would establish communication with the prime minister and his government in order to run the affairs of Pakistan collectively.
He said he would try to address the reservations of the prime minister, if he had any. He said his provincial government would definitely fulfil the constitutional obligations in interest of the people and development of Balochistan as a federating unit of Pakistan.
Bizenjo said that the provincial cabinet will hold a meeting on Wednesday (today) in order to discuss the CPEC-related issues and seek suggestions from the law department for framing laws.
He said he would intensify his contacts with the federal government for seeking solutions to all the Centre-provincial issues.
Responding to a question on perennial shortage of drinking water in Gwadar and its surrounding settlements, Bizenjo said the plans to provide fresh water from Ankara Kaur Dam and Shadi Kaur could not be materialised due to political bickering. In case of emergency, the government can lay a pipeline from Mirani Dam to Gwadar to provide water for drinking and domestic uses, he added