Decision-making powers should rest with masses: Abbasi

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Says progress not possible without democracy
Staff Reporter

Karachi

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Saturday that the decision-making powers should rest with the masses as the country could not progress without democracy. “This is the the first government in the country’s history that had successfully completed projects initiated during its tenure.”
He stated this while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the country’s first coal, clinker and cement terminal at Port Qasim during his one-day visit to the provincial capital on Saturday. The terminal has reportedly been established at a cost of $285 million. There had been a common practice in the country that one government announces a project that is completed by next four to five governments.
The premier said the entire project, including the terminal had been completed in four years, adding the terminal is the world’s best in quality.
Abbasi emphasised that progress is not possible without democracy. He said the public will decide who they want in power. “Whoever performs will be given a chance to rule again, those who don’t perform will be sent home,” he said.
The prime minister admitted democracy is not without its challenges, but “challenges will always be there, and they will be resolved,” he added.
He noted that the current government has produced 10,000MW electricity in four years. “This is the first government in Pakistan’s history which has completed development projects on time,” the premier said.
Pointing out some examples of development projects successfully completed during the present government’s tenure, he said the Lowari tunnel, unveiled by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto 45 years ago, was finally completed by Nawaz Sharif with Rs 28 billion. The prime minister noted that heavy investment has been made in the Port Qasim terminal, which also happens to be eco-friendly. The terminal has reportedly been established at a cost of $285 million over three years.
According to Governor House spokesman, the premier was briefed on the Pakistan gas port consortium of the Fauji Oil Terminal and Distribution Limited. This is the third visit of the premier to the city. He announced a Rs25 billion development package on his first visit on August 12 and a Rs5bn package for Hyderabad during the current fiscal year. The prime minister visited Karachi again on August 27 and inaugurated Liquified Natural Gas Terminal Two at Port Qasim. Sponsored by the Marine Group of Companies, the Pakistan International Bulk Terminal handles coal, clinker and cement cargo at the Port Qasim.
The prime minister said Pakistan had required this terminal for a long time. Few terminals around the world could match the quality of the Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited (PIBT), “the terminal of the future”, he said.
He said the terminal is environment-friendly and would help kickstart exports of cement and clinker from Pakistan. He said the PML-N government had inherited a number of crises when it started its term in 2013, but the government had made electricity available by starting projects to produce more than 10,000MW in the last four years. The government has also ensured that gas is provided to each gas consumer.
“After December, people will get whatever amount of gas they require, and new connections will also be issued,” he said.
Abbasi emphasised that the country would not develop if there was no democracy. He said democracy is a process and its flaws will be eliminated only if the process moves forward.
“A high growth, low inflation scenario exists in the country today,” the premier said, vowing to resolve all the challenges faced by the economy.
The Prime Minister said the government has also spread the network of motorways and highways. The PML (N) invests in development projects not for the sake of votes but for the country’s progress and prosperity.
Referring to the newly built terminal, the Prime Minister said the state of the art facility will facilitate cement and clinker exports.
The dictators had always failed to deliver and their rule did not augur well for the country’s future, he said.
Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair, minister for Maritime Affairs Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, minister of state Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal and provincial authorities were present during the ceremony. The prime minister also noted the environmental issues and hoped that the provincial government with support of the federal government would take up the challenge and resolve it. The governor had also taken some initiatives in this regard.
He said the private sector if given a chance could also deliver with its investment and both government and private sector could work together in these sectors.
According to PIBT statement, the terminal has been dredged up to 13 metres and is capable of handling ships of up to 65,000 tons.
The terminal had a built-in capacity of handling up to 12 million tons of coal and 4 million tons of cement and clinker per year, which can together be further enhanced up to 20 million tons.
Earlier, upon his arrival in Karachi for a day-long visit, the premier was received by Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair and Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

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