Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo addresses a press conference here on Tuesday.—APP
QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Quddus Bizenjo said on Tuesday that the rights of Gwadar local people in development schemes being carried out in the port city would be protected through legislation.
He was addressing a press conference after presiding over a meeting during which the overall development agenda for Gwadar came under discussion.
He said all stakeholders would be taken into confidence while taking important decisions about the city.
The chief minister said the government would ensure that the local residents of Gwadar were not turned into a minority after the port was made functional.
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Adviser to the Chief Minister on Gwadar Development Authority and Gwadar Industrial Development Authority Khuda Babar was present at the press conference.
“My government will frame laws with the consultation of all stakeholders for the protection of all rights of the local population,” Mr Bizenjo said, adding that the government would seek help from experts and lawyers while framing laws in this regard.
Referring to future investment for the development in Gwadar and its adjacent areas, Mr Bizenjo said that the local people of the city would be shareholders in development schemes. The youth of the city would be given preferences in employment opportunities.
Mr Bizenjo said he was disappointed after knowing about ground realities of some development projects launched under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said according to briefing he received from officials concerned during the meeting there was no planning to develop Gwadar as the first port city of Balochistan.
He criticised the previous provincial government for what he called not giving due importance to Gwadar’s development schemes. “The previous governments did nothing and ignored important factors. They failed to boost the development work in a planned manner.”
He said that there should have been a separate secretariat or an economic desk for matters related to CPEC. “There is no information available about the CPEC to the common people and there is no desk to deal with CPEC projects in Balochistan,” he added.
He said the provincial government had prepared a Rs1 billion package for Gwadar and sent it to the federal government last year, but there was so far no response from the Planning Commission on it.
The chief minister said the Board of Investment would be made effective for attracting national and foreign investment for Gwadar development projects.
Mr Bizenjo said the provincial cabinet would meet on Wednesday to discuss CPEC related issues and to seek suggestions from the law department for the framing of laws.
He said he would contact the federal government for resolving all issues between the centre and the provincial government.
He said he had issued instructions for making significant changes in the Gwadar Master Plan.
In reply to a question about shortage of drinking water in Gwadar, Mr Bizenjo said the plan to provide water to the city from Ankara Kaur and Shadi Kaur dams could not be materialised due to political bickering or other issues.
In case of an emergency, the government could lay a water pipeline from Mirani dam to Gwadar.
Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2018