Lahore : Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Saturday reposed his confidence that the people of Pakistan would decide the future government, juxtaposing the unprecedented performance of Pakistan Muslim League-N with its rival political parties and previous regimes.
He noted that democracy was sine qua non for the progress and prosperity of the country and its people.
The dictators had always failed to deliver and their rule did not augur well for the country’s future, he said.
The prime minister was addressing the inauguration ceremony of Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited (PIBT), the country’s first coal, clinker and cement terminal at the Port Qasim. The terminal has been completed at a cost of $285 million and so far provided berths to 12 coal ships.
The prime minister credited the people of Pakistan for their decision in favour of democratic system and noted that the continuity of the system would also provide panacea to certain issues.
Under the democratic system, people make their best choices and sent those people packing to homes who had failed to perform according to their expectations, he said, adding the challenges always emerged but those would be tackled and resolved.
The prime minister further said when the PML-N government came to power in 2013, the country was beset with numerous crises including the crippling power outages.
The government not only initiated work on 10,000 mw power projects but completed them whereas certain projects would be nearing completion and now the power supply was in abundance, he added.
The prime minister referred to visible functioning of different projects, being marshaled by the private investors and parties.
He said the gas scarcity also hit hard the fertilizers industry and CNG stations whereas the domestic consumers and other industrial units faced paucity of gas, but the government also took vital steps overcoming the issue.
The prime minister said a huge network of highways and motorways was being built under the PML-N government. PML-N was the only government in the history that solely invested in the country’s future. Under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) huge investment unparallel in country’s history was made which guaranteed prosperity, he added.
The prime minister said the PML-N government had announced a string of development projects which were not only completed ahead of the stipulated periods, but also undertook work on the projects, left unfinished by the previous regimes.
He cited the completion of Lowari tunnel in Chitral which was inaugurated by late Bhutto some 45 years back, but it was Nawaz Sharif who had completed the project at the cost of Rs28 billion.
The prime minister noted that there was visible difference between a government relying only on hallow promises and the others like PML-N which had delivered.
Balochistan coast has huge potential but it required proper tapping, he said and called upon all stakeholders to jointly pursue such projects.
Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair, minister for Maritime Affairs Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, minister of state Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal and provincial authorities were present during the ceremony.
The prime minister also noted the environmental issues and hoped that the provincial government with support of the federal government would take up the challenge and resolve it. The governor had also taken some initiatives in this regard.
The prime minister observed that Pakistan was in need of setting up such terminals since long and expressed the hope that the quality of the terminal would surpass many peers in the world.
He said the private sector if given a chance could also deliver with its investment and both government and private sector could work together in these sectors.
The prime minister also termed the functioning of the state of the art terminal as future -looking initiative to boost export of cement and assured to address the related issues.
According to PIBT statement, the terminal has been dredged up to 13 metres and is capable of handling ships of up to 65,000 tons.
The terminal had a built-in capacity of handling up to 12 million tons of coal and 4 million tons of cement and clinker per year, which can together be further enhanced up to 20 million tons.