ZHOB: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has invited India to hold dialogue with Pakistan on all issues, saying the two countries cannot live as enemies.

“Pakistan and India will have to resolve all issues amicably and in a comprehensive way,” he said while addressing a foundation stone-laying ceremony for the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project here on Wednesday.

The route will cover Zhob-Mughal Kot (N-50) and Qila Saifullah-Wagum (N-70).

The prime minister said National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua had held meetings with Indian officials to discuss issues and conflicts between the two countries.

He said that during Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad it had been decided that the two countries would restart dialogue on all issues. “Pakistan and India will have to create a friendly environment to resolve their issues,” he said, adding that all disputes and conflicts anywhere in the world were resolved through talks.

In this context, he had a word of praise for US President Barack Obama over the nuclear deal with Iran. “Wisdom and tolerance help in resolving conflicts.”

The prime minister thanked his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for visiting Lahore and spending some time with him.

Link with Europe

Pakistan would build a railway track to connect itself with Europe via Afghanistan and Central Asia so that “our goods trains could go to that continent”.

Mr Sharif said he, along with the presidents of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan and the vice president of India, had laid the foundation stone of the Tapi gas project. The pipeline would help meet the natural gas requirement of the countries involved.

The project would be completed in four years and help end gas loadshedding in the country, he added.

He said Balochistan was rich in natural resources and its people had the first right on these. He said he wanted promotion of education, provision of health facilities and development of agricultural and industrial sectors in the province.

The prime minister offered the peasants of Balochistan federal government’s loans for installing solar-powered tube wells to irrigate their fields.

He said Gwadar would be connected with Central Asia through road and rail links. He recalled that the previous PML-N government had built the Gwadar coastal highway.

He directed the National Highway Authority to upgrade the highway to a motorway.

Mr Sharif said the CPEC would bring prosperity to Balochistan and open doors of development and job opportunities.

All political leaders and other stakeholders would have to play their role in the country’s development, the prime minister emphasised. “CPEC will end backwardness and poverty in Pakistan by bringing progress and prosperity to our people.”

The prime minister congratulated Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and Balochistan Assembly Speaker Rahila Hameed Durrani on assuming charge of their offices and wished them well.

Published in Dawn, December 31st, 2015

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