Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday reiterated that Pakistan wanted peace to prevail in Afghanistan, as instability in the war-torn country would have effects on the region.
The premier's comments came during his address at an event in Gwadar, where he said countries in the region had expressed interest in reaping the benefits offered by the Gwadar port.
In this scenario, he expressed concern over the law and situation in Afghanistan, which he said, was extremely important for the continuity of development.
"We all want peace and stability to prevail in Afghanistan [...] I spoke to Iran's president, and I told him that Afghanistan's neighbouring countries should push for a political settlement in the [war-torn] nation."
'Pakistan on its way to becoming a great country'
Pakistan is on its way to becoming a great country, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, as he shared his vision of the country's future.
The premier said that some areas in the country are developed, while several others, including Balochistan, have remained underdeveloped.
"I dream of Pakistan's future — and I have grown up with Pakistan. This nation is headed towards becoming a great country," he said, adding: "Gwadar is becoming a focal point for Pakistan, which will benefit the country, especially Balochistan."
The premier said he had come to visit Gwadar for two reasons — inaugurate the Gwadar Free Zone Phase 2 and for the development of Balochistan.
The prime minister mentioned that Gwadar International Airport would encourage regional trade and boost economic activity.
The prime minister said works on energy and water supplies to the city were underway, and this would help Gwadar grow. "These projects were moving at a slow pace before [...] but now they are developing at a better pace."
The premier, shedding light on why the country should expedite China Pakistan Economic Corridor and remove hurdles in businesses related to it, said Chinese exporters were aiming to install such industries that would help Pakistan increase its exports.
Eyeing increase in exports
"Unfortunately, we have never focused on exports, and it will help bring in dollars," he said, adding that Pakistan has always been at the mercy of the International Monetary Fund as export-led growth.
PM Imran Khan inaugurated Gwadar Free Zone, Expo Center, Agriculture Industrial Park, and three factories; he also witnessed the signing of various MOUs aimed at constructing a state-of-the-art hospital, airport, and vocational institute.
The prime minister thanked the government of China for launching water and solar projects in Balochsitan, particularly Gwadar.
“Pakistan can benefit from its strategic location and also from the expertise of its friend China which is the becoming an economic power in the region,” he said.
He also mentioned the technical education provided by China to the locals of Gwadar, which he said, would prove greatly helpful as the foreign investment grew in future.
"Gwadar will connect with Central Asia [...] We have already signed contracts with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan," he said, as he announced he would soon visit Uzbekistan.
Highlighting the importance of the Urdu language, the premier lauded Chief Minister Jam Kamal for his "excellent speech", but lamented that had he delivered it in Urdu, 90% of the population could have understood it better.
Prior to his arrival, the premier was given a detailed briefing on the progress of the South Balochistan Development Package in line with the government’s vision of developing Balochistan.
On this occasion, various agreements are set to be signed on the solarisation of the area as well as the installation of a desalination plant to solve the problems of Gwadar related to water and electricity.