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Raisani seeks provincial control over Gwadar Port

QUETTA: Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has said the Balochistan government has engineers and other experts who can run the Gwadar port efficiently, but the federal government does not realise this.

Talking to Deputy Governor of State Bank Mohammad Kamran Shahzad here on Thursday evening, Mr Raisani said that some international forces also did not want the port to become fully functional because they felt it would be detrimental to their interests.

He said the Gwadar port was not only important for the development and prosperity of Pakistan but it also had the potential to become an economic hub of the region.

He said that Pakistan-Iran and Pakistan-Turkmenistan gas pipelines would pass through Gwadar and soon the port city would be linked through rail as survey for the purpose had already been completed.

Nawab Raisani said the country could earn huge revenue through a fully functioning Gwadar port.

“I am personally making efforts for running Gwadar port and in this connection approaching every forum,” he said, urging financial and trade organisations, policymakers and the private sector to come forward and support his efforts in this regard.

He said that despite having a lot of resources we could not utilise resources for the development of the country, and specially Balochistan, but on the other hand countries having no such resources were making progress in every field.

He said that his government wanted to set up a shipyard along the Balochistan coast and negotiations were held with officials of Italy, Korea and the United States and a letter was also sent to the federal government.

Discussing Reko Diq copper-cum-gold project, Nawab Raisani said the Balochistan Mining Rules did not allow taking raw material outside of the country and in view of the rules the government would set up a refinery in the province, despite giving mining rights to any private company.

He said the plan for setting up a refinery had already been approved and work would be started on the project next year.

He said that if the TTC would refine 110 million metric tone raw materials it would pay around $83 million to Balochistan and if the province itself carried out refining process it could earn $110 million from just 15 million metric ton of raw material.

He criticised TV channels for negatively reporting the law and order issue in the province and said the situation was not as bad as they were portraying.

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