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No mineral accord acceptable without public consent: CM

Updated November 08, 2018

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Balochistan is full of opportunities... we need to work hard to bring more investments to the province,” says provincial CM Jam Kamal Alyani. — File photo
Balochistan is full of opportunities... we need to work hard to bring more investments to the province,” says provincial CM Jam Kamal Alyani. — File photo

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has said that the minerals of the province belong to its people and no agreement regarding them will be accepted without the consent of its people.

Speaking to journalists at CM Secretariat, Mr Alyani said: “Balochistan is full of opportunities, however we need to work hard to bring more investments to the province.” Provincial ministers Zahoor Ahmed Buledi and Saleem Ahmed Khosa were present during the conversation. Other prominent politicians, including Mohammad Khan Lehri, Bushra Rind and Asad Baloch were also there.

The chief minister, who recently returned from a visit to China during which he had accompanied the prime minister, said that it was a great opportunity to represent Balochistan abroad, and that he met several investors as well as business leaders.

“We must attract investors not only from China but also from the Gulf countries and Europe. Balochistan has a long coastal belt, huge mineral reserves, and the opportunities to invest in agriculture, livestock, fisheries and mining are all there to be taken,” the chief minister said. Mr Alyani said his coalition government is planning to organise a roadshow in China, the Gulf and Europe to attract investors, and show them the options available in Balochistan. “Before going ahead with the roadshow, however, we need to lay out a clear plan of action, and a strategy that can guide us on the way forward,” he said.

He said that both China and Pakistan have enjoyed a great alliance over the years. During his visit, he said, he had the chance to visit the communist academy where Chinese leaders are trained. “We want the Communist Party of China to interact more with the Balochistan Awami Party. I believe we should try to adopt their good practices.”

Referring to land allotments in Gwadar, the chief minister said that the previous government — rather unfortunately — did not focus on protecting the land in the port city. “Land is an asset that Balochistan should use well, and if we protect our land it will be a great service to this province,” he said. The chief minister said that the mismanagement of lands in Gwadar was not only a grave injustice to the people of the city, but also to the entire province. He said that the current provincial government, was taking the matter seriously. The CM also clarified that Balochistan would not provide land to any company without a rental or lease agreement.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2018

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