MITHI, October 10: Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that Thar has changed Pakistan as it is a revolution that coal produced from the Thar desert is powering Faisalabad’s industry, and Thari women have honed their skills in everything from driving lorries to engineering.
He urged that within the span of a year there could be a green energy revolution in the country, if all stakeholders are ensured to work together under the Thar Coal project model.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the commercial operation of Thar Coal Project phase-II, Chairman PPP said that no one could have imagined that coal could be extracted from the desert of Thar and electricity could be supplied to the industry of Faisalabad, and crops could be grown and fish could be raised in the saltish water of the Thar. “All these developments have taken place when the provincial government fulfilled its responsibility, and the federal government also cooperated,” he added.
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that when he returned home after completing his university education, at that time, it was usually mentioned in the media reports that Thar has a lot of poverty and the mortality rate among children is very high due to malnutrition. He said that ever since the Thar Coal project started, and mining under Public Private Partnership, employment opportunities have been provided to local women as well as men, and infrastructure has been improved by the government, as a result of all these developments, there has been a significant reduction in the mortality rate of children, adding that when the government and the public sector work together, better results come out. “In Thar Coal Block-2 area, not a single child or mother has died due to malnutrition,” he pointed out.
Foreign Minister said that if the Thar Coal Project model is taken forward, then the test that the nation is facing in the form of floods in Sindh, Balochistan, South Punjab, Swat and Gilgit-Baltistan could also be overcome and flood-victims could stand on their own feet. He emphasized that in order to provide relief to the more than 33 million flood victims and save the economy from a loss of USD 30 billion, the government must adopt a new way for development, to restore infrastructure, and create more jobs through public-private partnerships mode. “If the federal and provincial governments work together, a green energy revolution can be brought in the country within a year,” he concluded.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan and federal as well provincial ministers and other dignitaries were also present at the event.