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Pakistan

PM Kakar calls for timely completion of work to unlock climate funds

  • Says country needs to present its doable projects to attract climate finance
Published December 4, 2023

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Monday called for timely completion of procedural work on government’s part to unlock the climate funds, which he said Pakistan needed to rebuild its infrastructure affected by the devastating floods of 2022.

He made these remarks while interacting with media persons after inaugurating two projects in Gwadar, Balochistan: the Pakistan-China Friendship Hospital and the Gwadar Seawater Desalination Project.

The Gwadar hospital is equipped with 150 beds as well as advanced medical equipment such as X-ray machines, and ultrasound machines. Moreover, the desalination plant produces 5,000 tons of fresh water per day.

“The world is ready to give billions of dollars, but how much you are ready to take,” he said while responding to a query from a reporter pertaining to the amount of funds Pakistan received after floods and what measures needed to improve situation.

“You should have asked about the number of projects completed by the government. How many projects have been made by provincial and federal governments? We’re not talking about the work on our part. I’ve mentioned this earlier as well. Even journalists like you don’t ask me such questions.”

He added that the country has to present its doable projects to attract climate finance. “We have to work hard. We will have to complete our part of work on time.”

Speaking on the occasion, the Chinese commerce minister said that after the two projects are handed over to Pakistan, the Chinese work teams would provide two years of maintenance of services. He hoped that Pakistani operation teams could cooperate with Chinese work teams closely so that the projects could be well used and maintained.

In his address, Chinese Ambassador Jiang Zaidong said that he had drink water from the desalination plant and it was fresh. “I think it was fresh water of Pakistan and China.”

He thanked the interim prime minister and the government for providing better security to the Chinese people working here and Chinese institutions. “I am very hopeful that Pakistan and China in the next phase will implement the advanced security plan to provide further better security to Chinese people and the Chinese institutions.”

After the inauguration, the PM expressed the confidence that the desalination plant would resolve water issue in Gwadar to a great extent. He was also appreciative of Chinese support for the construction of Pakistan-China Friendship Hospital.

The Gwadar International Airport was also about to reach the operationalization phase, he said and directed that northern zone should be connected with the national grid to address the issue of electricity in Gwadar.

Kakar stated that improved connectivity under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has brought immense benefits. He emphasised that the development direction of Gwadar and Balochistan has been set and would move forward. “Nobody can reverse it through force or the use of violence. Such elements are making a historic mistake and losing relevance.”

He added that around $36 trillion of trade will take place between China and its surrounding countries and stressed the need for becoming part of such an economy. He called for becoming part of “this big picture and add your part and take your part.”

“If you are disgruntled then you won’t be seen in the picture, so preparedness is the keyword as how you are preparing yourself for this picture,” he said.

Kakar thanked the Chinese envoy for announcing RMB200 million, solar panels, and emergency centre in Quetta.

The PM vowed to ensure protection of Chinese nationals in Pakistan. He reaffirmed that the federal and provincial governments, armed forces and civil law enforcement agencies would not allow anybody to cause harm to the Chinese nationals. “It is a matter of sensitive nature and we take it very seriously.”

“All of our men here will first take bullet on their chest and won’t let any Chinese suffer,” he said.

He was confident that Gwadar would emerge as a hub of industries and trade connectivity as a result of longstanding Pakistan-China friendship.

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