Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday expressed confidence that foreign investors and exporters who previously shunned the country’s financial hub for security reasons would now arrive in droves to promote business activities.
Speaking at a function at the Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Karachi, Sharif said his government was committed to rooting out extremism and terrorism from the violence-prone city.
"Look at Pakistan three years ago. Look at Karachi seven years ago, and then look at Pakistan and Karachi on Monday. There is no comparison," he said.
Interestingly, Sharif did not meet either the Sindh province chief minister or governor regarding the discord between the province and centre over the policing powers given to the paramilitary Rangers to continue operations against terrorists and criminals in Karachi which has long been plagued by political, ethnic and militant violence.
The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party government in Sindh claims that the centre is using the Rangers and National Action Plan to target political opponents and that the forces have overstepped their powers.
Referring to Karachi’s security situation, Sharif said that the Rangers operation, as difficult as it is, was a testament to his government’s commitment to rooting out terrorism and extremism from Pakistan.
He said he was confident that in six to eight months, foreign investors and exporters will come to Karachi even those who did not want to come to the city in the past.
The prime minister visited the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) and reviewed the ongoing power plant project with the cooperation of China.
Sharif hoped that the 1,320 MW coal-based power project is completed by December, 2017.
The prime minister had himself laid foundation of the project, to be completed at a cost of USD 1.5 billion. It is the first power project being set up under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.