Lahore: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that precious reserves exist in Chiniot-Rajwa which will change the destiny of the nation and eliminate poverty and unemployment from the country. Begging bowl will break and Pakistan will achieve a dignified place in the comity of nations, he added.
He expressed these views while addressing a function on the occasion of discovery of reserves of iron ore and copper in Chiniot-Rajwa, today.
CM Punjab,Federal and Provincial Ministers, Members National and Provincial Assembly, Chairman Metallurgical Corporation of China working on the project, German consultant, columnists, intellectuals and a large number of people were present on the occasion.
Provincial Minister for Minerals Ch. Sher Ali presented the address of welcome while Chairman Punjab Mineral Development Company Dr. Samar Mubarik Mand expressed views about the progress on the project.
Prime Minister said that work for exploration of iron ore was started with sincerity and hard work in the soil of saints but, besides iron ore, gold and copper reserves have also discovered here. He said that these reserves are not only for the ten crore people of Punjab but are the property of 18 crore people of Pakistan.
He said that the soil of Chiniot-Rajwa is rich in natural resources and the destiny of the nation and the country will be changed through utilizing these reserves. He said that the international laboratories have certified the reserves of high quality iron ore and copper in Chiniot-Rajwa which is a very good news for Pakistani nation.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan will be made a developed and prosperous country by utilizing these hidden reserves and will achieve a respectable status in the international community.
Nawaz Sharif said that reserves of iron ore, copper and gold have been confirmed in Chiniot-Rajwa. He said that according to a careful estimate of experts, these reserves are spread over 2000 sq km, however, initially these reserves have been identified upto 28 sq km. which is a great blessing of Almighty Allah.
Addressing the ceremony,Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif said that former rulers committed a dacoity on national exchequer in darkness of night whereas PML-N government made an agreement in a transparent manner in day light. He said that Punjab government started this project from its own resources and gave contract to a renowned Chinese Company Metallurgical Corporation of China through the process of tendering in a transparent manner and due to the hard work of ten months, precious reserves have been certified here.
He said that during previous dictatorial era, former rulers of Punjab gave illegal contract to a company of a person namely Arshad Waheed without tender in 2007 for exploring iron ore in this area. He said that when Pakistan Muslim League-N came into power in Punjab in 2008, it cancelled this illegal and corruption based contract and this so-called company approached Lahore High Court. He said that Punjab government pursued the case in High Court and Lahore High Court seconded our decision. He said that in 2007, previous rulers hurt public feelings and did nothing except loot and plunder.
Shahbaz Sharif said that he does not know whether these hidden reserves are of billions or trillions’ dollars, however, this a great gift by Almighty Allah and there are reserves of iron ore, copper and gold. He said that this great project will prove a game changer and the time has come to break that begging bowl which had not been broken in 68 years. He said that we have to face a number of difficulties while working on the project, three secretary minerals were changed, Board was removed and international companies were invited transparently for exploration. He said that Punjab government has spent its resources on the project with hard work which has yielded encouraging results.
He said that the enemies of the country are worried over such excellent results of ten months’ hard work and friends are happy. He said although we have not reserves of oil and gas here but Allah Almighty has bestowed us with mineral resources. He said that we can buy oil and gas through sale of these mineral resources and these mineral resources are more precious than oil and gas.
The Chief Minister said that Chinese company has promised to complete the acceptable feasibility report of the project for the bank at the end of this year, however, it is our endeavor to get completed this feasibility report at the earliest. He said that a business plan of the project will also be evolved. He said this is a good news and expressed the hope that we will change the destiny of the nation through these mineral resources. He said that we will not go abroad with begging bowl but with copper, iron and gold and achieve the lost status of the country again.
Shahbaz Sharif stressed the need for further hard work for utilizing these reserves. He said that best companies will be invited in this regard and speedy progress will be made under the guidance of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. He said that Chinese company has shown interest in establishing steel mill here which will provide job opportunities to the people of Chiniot and the area will progress.
Provincial Minister for Minerals Ch. Sher Ali Khan informed about the progress on the project in his welcome address. Chairman Punjab Mineral Development Company Dr. Samar Mubarik Mand informed about the reserves explored in Chiniot-Rajwa and said that this success has been achieved due to determination and hard work of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and the project has been furthered speedily.
Earlier, President Chinese Company and German consultant gave briefings to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the participants about the project.