GWADAR (March 20 2007): Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz performed the inauguration of 200,000 gallons per day desalination plant costing Rs 1.2 billion in the coastal city of Gwadar on Monday. Speaking on the occasion he termed this as a historic occasion and said it was an excellent example of public-private partnership.
This is one of the first desalination plants going operational in the country. It had been entirely funded by the private sector, he said. The prime minister said the developments in Gwadar, where the deep-sea port would become operational from Tuesday and other projects in line, would change the destiny of this city, province of Balochistan and that of Pakistan.
He declared that the provision of fresh drinking water was a major priority of the government, adding the government was undertaking a massive programme of billions of rupees for providing water to the masses and filter plants were being established across the country.
He pointed out that with the development projects being undertaken Gwadar's significance would enhance even more in the years to come.
Shaukat Aziz also highlighted the significance of the Coastal Highway, which was as important as the Gwadar Port. He said this highway was being further extended to be linked up with the Iranian Border in the town of Gabd from where it would be connected with the Iranian Highway and one would be able to drive to Bandar Abbas or any place in Iran and beyond to Europe.
He said that Gabd would become a big hub for road transport between Iran and Pakistan. The prime minister said the Coastal Highway, the Port and development of the city of Gwadar and linking this highway to Iran would change the dimension and economic potential of this whole area.
He said: "Today is also a historic day because for the first time in the history of this Cabinet we are having a Cabinet meeting outside Islamabad."
The prime minister said when the new airport in Gwadar for which we are acquiring land is built it will further become a hub to provide link with the rest of the world. He said our policy is to make Gwadar airport an open sky where anybody can land and take off with no restrictions.
He said that there would also be an industrial estate in Gwadar, which would be very attractive and have state of the art facility and it would have many incentives because we want many local and foreign investors to come here in a big way.
Shaukat Aziz said we see Gwadar as a hub to trade with Central Asia and with the road network we will also connect Gwadar with up North by connection with the Indus Highway, Quetta and National Highway and work on this is going on step by step.
He said the credit for the development plans goes to President Pervez Musharraf and we all worked with him as this will change the future of this city, the province of Balochistan and of Pakistan.