QUETTA: Speakers at a seminar have called for taking the people of Balochistan and Gwadar into confidence for the success of Gwadar Port and CPEC-related projects in the province.

The seminar was organised on Sunday by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a non-profit German foundation, on the role of lawmakers in investment and promotion of CPEC-related industrialisation projects in Gwadar. The foundation is committed to advancement and promotion of socio-political and economic development across the world.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on CPEC Arbab Sher Ali, NA Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, provincial minister Zahoor Buledi and MNA Aslam Bhootani.

Speaking on the occasion, Sher Ali said the main purpose of his visit to Balochistan was to review progress on CPEC-related development projects and get an input from different people and experts to boost investment in Gwadar.

He said that members of the committee noted that without involving the people of Gwadar and other areas of Balochistan, CPEC-related mega projects could not progress in the area.

He said the people of Gwadar and Makran had apprehensions that they would not benefit from CPEC-related projects and beneficiaries of these mega projects would be other people.

“The people of Gwadar are facing some basic problems. These include shortage of drinking water, power outages and illegal fishing by foreign boats,” Sher Ali said, adding that these issues must the resolved and the local people should be involved in the development process of Balochistan.

He said the other main issue was provision of security as without ensuring security no foreign investors would come to Balochistan to invest in the province and even investors from the country would not come to the area for the purpose.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri said the government was making serious efforts for developing Gwadar and other areas of Balochistan.

He said that industrial zones were being established in Bostan and other areas which would help investors come to the area and invest in different economic sectors in the province.

Member of the Standing Committee on CPEC Muhammad Aslam Bhootani said the people of some areas of Balochistan had been deprived of gas since 1952 when gas reserves were discovered in Sui.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2021

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