ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stressed the need to learn from the bitter experiences of the past 75 years and move ahead with strenuous efforts by exploring the untapped vast mineral resources
Addressing the inaugural session of Pakistan Minerals Summit titled ‘Dust to Development’, the prime minister stressed the need for making untiring efforts and hard work to put the country on the path of development and prosperity.
The prime minister regretted that the country’s journey of 75 years was dotted with bitter factors as they could not fully exploit the precious natural deposits estimated at worth $6 trillion.
“The day gives an opportunity to self-contemplation over a journey of last 75 years and the reasons which landed Pakistan into this situation with a begging bowl,” he added.
He said a hefty penalty of $10 billion was imposed on Pakistan in Reko Diq which would have depleted the entire country’s foreign reserves if implemented. He said the Thar coal mine reserves were being converted for the development of Pakistan.
Due to certain cartels, he regretted that natural resources were not explored properly in the past and financial and political reasons were also involved in the delay which required deep introspection.
The prime minister said the Chinot iron ores field belonged to the people of Pakistan but showed another worst example of corruption as they were handed over to an overseas Pakistani with no business history and without bidding.
The prime minister further regretted that the previous governments should have dedicated themselves to the welfare of the people of Pakistan.
He said that NAB, unfortunately, created fear and harassed the business community and bureaucrats in the past as it was used as a tool for witch-hunt of political opponents.
The prime minister said the present government focused on building a strong nation. He reiterated that Pakistan was keen to maintain friendly ties with all the countries for the mutual benefit of their people.
The prime minister said that the incumbent government would complete its term in the current month. He said the society had been bitterly divided and unless they show unity and discipline, the government could not succeed in their efforts.
The prime minister said the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was set up for the first time in the country including all the stakeholders that would collaborate and facilitate execution of the development projects.
The summit was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir, federal ministers, foreign delegates, ambassadors, experts, relevant authorities and investors.
In his address, Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik invited foreign investors to invest in different sectors of Pakistan, particularly in the mineral and mining sector. He said the aim of the summit is to increase Foreign Direct Investment in the country and move from ‘Dust to Development’.