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KARACHI, Feb 27: Brushing asides all environment concerns due to development of two islands near the Karachi coast, President General Pervez Musharraf has declared that the government “will carry on” and there will be no environmental problem. I suggest some environmentalists to please focus correctly. We will carry while taking consideration of environment,” the president said while addressing at the inaugural ceremony of Bagh Ibne Qasim at Jahangir Kothari Parade here on Tuesday.

Spread over 130 acres, Bagh Ibne Qasim was completed in a record time of 10 months and after removing encroachment from 70 acres of its land. The president paid rich tribute to Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad and City Nazim Mustafa Kamal and observed that this park could be compared with any good park of the world.

The president spoke at length about the ongoing and completed development, recreational and housing projects in the metropolis and hoped that with these projects Karachi will regain its glory and it would get a prominent place not only in the region but in the world.

He said that the government was setting up treatment plants to treat sewage before it flowed into the sea to save mangroves. “We are also concerned about environment and taking so any measures. We have to cut trees for constructing or expanding roads and all developed countries do the same. But we will plant double the number of trees we cut,” he added.

General Musharraf said that the project to develop Island City and Beaches would bring huge investment in the country. He said Karachi is the economic base and industrial hub of Pakistan and therefore it needs special encouragement. He said Karachi must have a proper electricity, water and cleanliness system.

“I will review the K-IV 100 mgd water supply project and will fully back it. We have privatised the KESC but I know there are still problems. Due to economic upsurge, we need 3,300 megawatt electricity in this year. I am monitoring not only the KESC projects but also all energy related projects at the

national level. We will ensure Pakistan is self sufficient in gas and electricity,” he added.

Speaking about Bagh Ibne Qasim, the pPresident said: “this is an excellent gift to the people of Karachi. It brings nostalgia to me as my father was in ministry of Foreign Affairs at Mohatta Palace and 50 years back I used to come here. All credit goes to Governor Ishratul Ebad, who conceived this project and brought me here.”

He said City Nazim Mustafa Kamal has also worked hard to make this park a beautiful place in the country. He directed the governor, chief minister and city nazim to convert this city into City of Parks.

The President also said that next month he would inaugurate the Northern Bypass and one section of Lyari Expressway.

He said that previously there was only one flyover in Karachi but now the situation is changed. “Recently I inaugurated six flyovers and underpasses. There will be an Elevated Expressway on Drigh Road, which would be completed in three years.

Earlier, the governor thanked the president for gracing the occasion. He informed the president that the government was planning to construct resorts on 800 acres on Manghopir Hills besides providing recreational facility on both banks of Malir River. Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim said that he came to know that some of the land of Bagh Ibne Qasim was encroached by Asif Ali Zardari. He paid rich tribute to the governor for conceiving the revival of the Bagh at Jahangir Kothari Parade.

Earlier, in his welcome address City Nazim Mustafa Kamal thanked the President for gracing the occasion. He highlighted several hurdles in the way of construction and renovation of the Bagh Ibne Qasim and observed that it could never be possible without the President’s support to make the park a reality.