Karachi must end culture of strikes: PM
By Habib Khan Ghori | 6/13/2015

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that the frequent strikes in Karachi badly hurt national economy and urged the Sindh governor to put an end to the protests.

Addressing a function of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr Sharif said: `Even if a fly is killed in Karachi, a strike is observed and a protest is lodged.

He then turned towards Governor Ishratul Ibad: `You should try that strikes are not observed (because they) solve nothing. On the contrary they are harmful to the national economy.

Pakistan would become prosperous if strikes were not observed frequently in the provincial capital, the prime minister added.

He said that two coal-fired power plants, each capable of generating 300MW, were being set up in Thar. If the projects proved to be successful, the country would stop importing coal from Indonesia and Australia as coal from Thar would be used to generate electricity.

Mr Sharif said full attention was being paid to the law and order situation in Sindh and Balochistan. `We will root out terrorism and load shedding will end by 2017.

Earlier in the day, Mr Sharif met Governor Ibad and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah at the Governor House and discussed with them the law and order situation in Karachi.

During the meeting, he reiterated that the targeted operation in Karachi would continue because peace in the city was vital for the national economy.

All `mafias` working in Karachi would be rooted out and action would be initiated without discrimination against all the elements involved in facilitating the terrorists by arranging finances and other resources, he said.

Those who patronised such elements would not be spared. He directed the law enforcement agencies to use all resources available to `break the financial network of terrorists`.

Mr Shah informed the prime minister of progress made on implementing the decisions of the provincial apex committee, but expressed concern about what he called `non-cooperation by the federal government` regarding major development projects.

Mr Sharif assured the chief minister of cooperation from the federal government to meet financial needs of the mega projects.

Addressing in Hub the inauguration ceremony of the country`s largest refinery complex, Mr Sharif termed the refinery set up by the Byco Group a valuable addition to the oil and gas sector.

He said that with oil refining capacity of 120,000 barrels per day, the refinery would meet around 39 per cent of the country`s fuel needs.

The prime minister said his government was committed to making large amounts of fuel available in the country to ensure accelerated growth in all sectors of the economy.

He praised the role of the Byco Group in the oil refining sector and said the setting up of its second refinery would help generate valuable employment opportunities.

The prime minister also appreciated the role played by the Abraaj Group and invited its chief Arif Masood Naqvi to Islamabad so that he could discuss with him several important issues.

Saleem Shahid adds: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said on the occasion that investments made in his province would help restore peace there.

`Through development, we want to come at par with other provinces. Thus Balochistan should be given equal importance in the country`s policies. He said that Balochistan was rich in mineral and other natural resources and had vast opportunities for investment.

`I invite the private-sector companies to invest in Balochistan and the provincial government will extend every possible support to them.

Published in Dawn