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Regional Dialogue on the Role of Parliament in Promoting Exports, Trade and Commerce under CPEC in Balochistan, “Gwadar Development and the Growth of Blue Economy in Pakistan”

Regional Dialogue on the Role of Parliament in Promoting Exports, Trade and Commerce under CPEC in Balochistan, “Gwadar Development and the Growth of Blue Economy in Pakistan”

Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) organized a Seminar on Regional Dialogue on the Role of Parliament in Promoting Exports, Trade and Commerce under CPEC in Balochistan, “Gwadar Development and the Growth of Blue Economy in Pakistan” on 21st March, 2021 at Pak-China Business Center, Gwadar Free Zone.
Addressing the Inaugural Session of the Seminar, Hon. Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on CPEC Mr. Sher Ali Arbab remarked that Gwadar is the key component of CPEC which deserves special attention and allocation of more resources. The success of CPEC is intrinsically linked with holistic utilization of strategic location of Gwadar. It is, therefore, important that all the relevant stakeholders including Gwadar Port Authority and Gwadar Development Authority should maximize their efforts to realize the milestones envisaged under CPEC framework.  

He further observed that CPEC is aimed at revamping the lives of local people by bringing ease in their lives and creating maximum employment opportunities for the local people. In that backdrop, there is an exigency of ensuring investment in human resources in such a way that people may be equipped with required knowledge and skills. Such potentials of the people could be utilized for effective implementation of CPEC in future. Massive investment in human resources will beget win-win situation by creating opportunities for people to reap actual benefits of CPEC and help in eliminating long-standing deprivation of local people of Gwadar in special and Balochistan in general.

Agriculture sector of Pakistan has vast potential under CPEC framework. More efforts should be exerted to utilize its scope to the maximum level. Moreover, all the utilities including gas, electricity and infrastructure should be provided to the industries so that enabling environment could be created for the smooth operation of industries. The running of industries at its maximum potential will not only generate employment opportunities but will strengthen Pakistan’s economy as well. A proper mechanism should be devised to create a favorable environment for local people to easily grasp employment opportunities created by industries.
While highlighting the issues of fishermen, Hon. Chairman observed that fishermen should be provided attractive incentives so as to enhance their earnings and secure their businesses. Historically, People of Gwadar have been facing many issues. They must be provided all the basic amenities of life including clean water, gas, electricity and basic infrastructure.

The Parliamentary Committee on CPEC is bipartisan and is fully committed to ensure that Gwadar becomes hub of economic and sustainable development. Arranging seminars and engaging with local people in discussions directly will buttress the Committee to beware from ground realities and help in improving its work. The Committee desires to continue such remarkable engagements to achieve actual purposes of CPEC.
Hon. Member of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC, Mr. Muhammad Aslam Bhootani, MNA highlighted the keys issues faced by fishermen at Gwadar. He observed that fishermen are having old boats which create problems for them to sustain their livelihood. People coming outside of Balochistan have also started fishing at Gwadar at the cost of local fishermen who are deprived of many facilities. Government should provide interest free loans to fishermen to facilitate their only source of livelihood.  

He remarked that people of Balochistan while travelling to go through various check posts established by security forces because of which local people are feeling humiliated and a sense of alienation is prevailing among them. Lives of local people must not be made hard at the cost of CPEC security. The difficulties faced by local people may be minimized by realigning the check posts.

Hon. Member, being the local resident of Balochistan, has time and again raised his voice for the resolution of issues faced by the people of Balochistan. He asserted that people of Gwadar are facing energy and water crisis. The progress on 300 MW power plant at Gwadar, upgradation of transmission lines and establishment of desalination water plants should be expedited to resolve the issues of water and energy at Gwadar.  The people of Gwadar should be provided all fundamental facilities of life at the earliest because Gwadar has to be made an example of development to ensure the success of CPEC. Moreover, we need to move in such a way that the wonders which CPEC would create should have trickle-down effect in the lives of people and bring inclusive and equitable growth. It was also decided to convene special meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC to sort out issues of energy and ensure timely completion of energy projects at Gwadar.

Hon. Member of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC, Ms. Mehnaz Akber Aziz remarked that people of Gwadar should be equipped with all tools of knowledge and skills by providing all educational facilities at their disposal including state of the art schools, colleges and university. In this way, outsiders can also be attracted to receive education at Gwadar and secure the locals of the city from travelling to other provinces for education. She stressed upon the need for timely completion of Pak-China Technical and Vocational Institute at Gwadar and observed that required degree programs, curriculum and skills should be imparted to people of Balochistan so that they could gain maximum employment opportunities in future.