"Today, I see every path to [Pakistan's] economic stability lead out of Balochistan," Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said as he announced plans for the construction and expansion of dams in Gwadar at a political rally in the city on Thursday.
"It has been my dream to see Gwadar transform into a developed port city," the premier said.
"Today, Gwadar has started on the road to success, and I am proud."
"I believe I am the first prime minister of Pakistan to stay the night in Gwadar. This is my love for Gwadar, its people and for Balochistan," he added.
"A web of roads is being built, and Gwadar is being connected to the rest of the country," Sharif said, adding that roads with a total length of 1,100 kilometres were also being built within the city.
"We have built roads in areas where there was terrorism. The Frontier Works Organisation has completed that work and I am grateful to them. They have sacrificed their lives to build these roads," Sharif said.
"When roads are made, success follows; schools are built, colleges are built, hospitals are built," he said, adding that, "Industries are established when roads are built and progress and prosperity flourish."
“I have empowered your leaders and I want them to lead the way and I will facilitate them,” Sharif said as he promised the people of Gwadar a “chance to reap the benefits of the area.”
The premier noted, however, that “outsiders” had bought land in the province at the “price of peanuts” and the residents of the city had not benefitted from any progress in the area. To remedy this, the prime minister said he will be working with the chief minister of Balochistan to “come up with a plan to bring the benefits of the area to the people.”
During his address, the prime minister also announced plans to build a 300-bed hospital in the city with Chinese help. He added that land had also been bought for a university.
Sharif also announced that desalination plants will be set up in Gwadar to provide clean water to the local people, and that Rs5 billion had been allocated to the project.
“This project would have taken too much time if we waited for CPEC, so the federal government and the provincial governments will start work on these projects and ensure that the people of Gwadar are provided clean drinking water.”