Raisani seeks EU, CARs’ consulates in Gwadar

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QUETTA – Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has offered European Union and Central Asian Republics provision of all facilities for setting up their trade consulates in Gwadar and launching development projects on BOT basis.
He expressed these views at a meeting with the French consul general who called on him here the other day. Balochistan ministers, Abdul Khaliq Achakzai and Mir Asad Baloch, Chief Secretary Ahmad Bakhsh Lehri and French Honourary Consul General Brig (retd) Abdur Razzaq Baloch were also present.
The chief minister said Gwader, having geo-graphical importance and deep seawater would become a hub for commercial activities of the region, besides creating opportunities for investment. He stated his government would extend cooperation to the friendly countries interested in establishing trade consulates and initiate uplift projects in the coastal region of Balochistan.
He revealed some friendly countries had already shown their interest and responded to the offer of the Balochistan government to set up trade consulates at Gwadar. Although wheat and fertilizer were being landed at Gwadar port, the government planned to link the port with road and railway network, making the port operational and functional.
Raisani opined a fully operational Gwadar port would benefit the entire region owing to its natural geo-graphical location, providing Central Asian States, Afghanistan and other neighboring countries a gateway. He invited the French diplomat to visit Gwadar port to review the suitable environment for investment and apprise him of the initiatives being taken to promote education in Balochistan.
He stated imparting education to every child of the province was priority of the provincial government, adding adequate funds had been allocated in the current budget in this regard. He told the French consul general that the Balochistan government had recruited 5,000 teachers in the education sector in the current financial year and sanctioned Rs one billion for upgrading educational institutions, besides devising a plan for teachers’ training.
He said the Balochistan government had demanded the federal government transfer funds of the Higher Education Commission to the provinces so that they could provide required funds to their universities and scholarships to their students for higher education. The CM disclosed the Balochistan government had released a grant of Rs 500 million to the universities to overcome their financial difficulties.
He appreciated the Pakistan Army for establishing a military college in Sui, adding it would have a positive effect on the lives of the people of far-flung areas. The chief minister said there were huge deposits of uranium, gold, copper and other precious minerals in Balochistan and added steps were also being taken to devise a strategy to benefit from them.