'Malicious agenda of Pakistan's enemies will be foiled,' says Premier Shehbaz
THARPARKAR: Condemning yesterday’s terrorist incidents targeting military personnel, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Wednesday that no one is above the law and would not be allowed to support terrorists and use them as shields.
The premier further said that the malicious agenda of Pakistan's enemies would come to nothing and will be foiled.
The prime minister's comments came during his visit to Tharparkar's Islamkot area for the inauguration event of two coal-fired power plants with a capacity of 1,650 megawatt of electricity generation.
PM Shehbaz said the projects — including the 1,320 megawatt Shanghai Electric power plant and 330MW Thal Nova power plant — would turn the desert into an economic hub and annually generate 11.24 billion units of low-cost electricity.
Through the direct investment of $3.53 billion into these projects, which were abandoned during the last four years and are now operational on PM Shehbaz's directives, the production of coal-based electricity in Thar will increase up to 3,300MW.
He added that it was a moment of celebration for the entire country that Tharparkar was getting a source of basic facilities for life and also dismissed the criticism by a section of people who stand against Thar’s coal, terming it a blessing with immense potential for power resources that needed to be untapped.
PM Shehbaz expressed confidence that the journey of progress would spread across the country and would strengthen the national economy.
The premier said that the power turbines would be installed at the projects to generate electricity by April 30, which would be supplied to the rest of the country through transmission lines.
He expressed gratitude to the government of China for extending support to Pakistan in carrying out development projects under the CPEC.
He vowed that the coalition government would put in all efforts to materialise the CPEC projects, with the agriculture sector as its next phase and announced a hospital for the locals to provide them with medical facilities at their doorsteps.
Also present at the occasion, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the project could be materialised as the federal government and the Sindh government worked in harmony to facilitate the masses.
He expressed satisfaction over the level of cooperation between Pakistan and China on carrying out development projects, which he said, had resulted in the improvement of health and educational facilities.
Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastagir Khan said the pluralist government of PM Shehbaz was committed to providing civic amenities to people across the country.
He said that under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the development of indigenous resources was a big step towards self-reliance and was also valuable for the foreign exchange of the country.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said the political and economic interests of Pakistan and China were aligned for the benefit of the two nations.
He termed the completion of the Thar Coal project a success for all stakeholders from both countries.
Chinese Charge d’Affaires Pang Chunxue said the commercial operation of the Thar coal project ranked high among other coal-fired power plants. She assured all possible cooperation by the government of China in the field of development and progress.
Shanghai Electric Power Company Limited is the executing agency of the projects, while the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) is the coordinating ministry, and Private Power and Infrastructure Board is the supervising agency.