ISLAMABAD    -    Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday directed the authori­ties concerned to link the Thar Coal Mines with the country’s railway net­work by March 2023.

During a meeting chaired by the prime minister, it was principally de­cided that the project of linking Thar Coal Mines with rail network would be jointly executed by the federal and Sindh governments.

The prime minister told the meeting that the development projects need­ed to be completed with the “Pakistan Speed” as the previous government had inflicted irreparable loss to the country during last four years. He said the government was trying to revive the develop­ment course which the previ­ous government had deliber­ately kept halted during 2018 to 2022. “During our previous government, we accomplished the development projects within record period. What to talk of launching new devel­opment projects, the previ­ous government halted the on­going ones wasting the public money as a grave conspiracy,” he remarked.

He said with the linking of Thar Coal Mines with railway network, local coal would be used in power plants replacing the imported one.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Shar­if said the usage of Thar coal in power plants would help save $2 billion annually. The meet­ing was told that after the link­ing of Thar Coal Mines with rail network, the local coal would be utilized not only the power plants of Jamshoro and Port Qa­sim but also other power plants and industries in the country to save the public money.

The prime minister instruct­ed the authorities concerned to accelerate the work on the said project to complete it by March 2023.Federal ministers Ish­aq Dar, Ahsan Iqbal, Khurram Dastgir, special assistants to PM Jahanzeb Khan, Zafaruddin Mahmood and senior officers attended the meeting. Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah joined the meeting via video link.

PM thanks Guterres for high­lighting Pakistan’s post-flood needs

As the United Nations launched a revised flash appeal of $816 million for flood-hit Pa­kistan a day earlier, Prime Min­ister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednes­day thanked the UN chief for effectively highlighting the country’s needs in the wake of disaster.

“Thank you Antonio Guterres for your leadership in articulat­ing needs of people affected by disastrous floods,” he said in a tweet. The prime minister, how­ever, stressed that the revised UN appeal of $816 million for flood victims underscored the need for “continued global en­gagement”.

“With food and health crisis becoming graver, we need to ramp up action,” he said, em­phasizing the need for per­sistent efforts for rehabilitation of flood-stricken people.

The floods in Pakistan left around 1,600 dead and 33 mil­lion homeless, and inundating one-third of the country’s land.

‘What happened in Pakistan will not stay in Pakistan’

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday warned that cli­mate change would not spare other countries after the flash floods inundated one-third of Pakistan and left millions of people homeless.

“What happened in Pakistan will not stay in Pakistan,” he said in a tweet reiterating his call for urgent action a day af­ter the United Nations issued a revised flash appeal of $816 million as relief assistance for the flood-stricken people of the country. A month ago, an ini­tial US $160 million flash appeal was made to address immediate needs based on estimates. How­ever, the results of the recent needs assessments, that led to the up-scaling of the flash ap­peal to $816 million, revealed that much more was needed to save those struggling to survive the aftermath of the floods.

PM Sharif in his tweet high­lighted that more than 1,600 Pa­kistanis–including 400 children had lost their lives due to mas­sive floods besides thousands of kilometres of road infrastruc­ture and bridges washed away.

“Entire villages have been swallowed up by raging waters. Nature has been truly unforgiv­ing,” he said.

Recently, Shehbaz Sharif ac­tively pursued the case of the flood-hit Pakistan on interna­tional platforms, including at the Shanghai Cooperation Orga­nization summit in Uzbekistan, in London, and at the 77th ses­sion of the United Nations Gen­eral Assembly.

A video compilation shared by the official Twitter account of the Government of Pakistan gave a flashback of different oc­casions when Shehbaz Shar­if made passionate calls at the global level, stressing an urgent response by the world for the disaster-hit Pakistan.

In his meetings with over 50 world leaders on the eves of SCO and UNGA last month, the prime minister called for cli­mate justice and appealed to the world to share the burden of the climate crisis. He also highlighted that Pakistan was responsible for less than one percent of the world’s plan­et-warming gases, yet it was the eighth most vulnerable na­tion to the climate crisis.