All have to work hard to end poverty, unemployment, says Shehbaz





A day after taking the charge of his office, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday spent a busy day in Karachi where he met with coalition partners including PPP-led Sindh government and MQM-P in a bid to cement his position and hold consultation before announcing his cabinet members.

The prime minister also discussed development projects in the Sindh province especially in Karachi with the Sindh government and MQM-P including the KCR and K-IV bulk water supply projects. Shehbaz Sharif landed at the Faisal Airbase in Karachi where he was welcomed by Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah along with his cabinet members, MQM-P, PML-N and JUI-F leaders.

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the prime minister also held a meeting to discuss economic issues as well as development projects for Karachi, during his flights to Karachi. She hoped that Pakistan would move forward so fast that it would be called “Pakistan Speed”. The premier then visited the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah where he paid his respects and offered Fateha. He was accompanied by PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal and Marriyum Aurangzeb, MQM leaders Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Aminul Haq, and JUI-F leader Muhammad Ali Durrani.

The prime minister laid a wreath at the mausoleum and also penned his comments in the visitors’ book.

In his remarks, the prime minister said he was there to pay tribute to the great Quaid for his great struggle to create a separate homeland and show his respects to him.


“I am sorry that we couldn’t follow the path you had expected from us and this disappointed your soul. I make a pledge that I will try my best to serve my countrymen and live up to your expectations,” the prime minister said mentioning him below as “Khadim-e-Pakistan.”


‘PM’s meeting with Sindh CM’

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also directed to take measures for providing potable water to the residents of Karachi on priority basis.

Talking to media, along with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in Karachi on Wednesday evening, he said provision of clean drinking water in Karachi is a big challenge. He assured that the Federal Government will provide all possible cooperation to the provincial government in addressing the civic issues.

The Prime Minister said he will try to bring Karachi Circular Railway project under the umbrella of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said availability of comfortable transport facilities are another big challenge and efforts will be made to provide air-conditioned buses to the citizens of Karachi.

Shehbaz Sharif during his visit presided over a meeting of the provincial cabinet to discuss and decide PSDP-related development projects and outstanding issues between the provincial and the federal governments.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah along with his cabinet members, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Khuwaja Izhar and Kanwar Naveed of MQM, Khakan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Miftah Ismail of PML-N, Akram Durani, Maulana Assad Mahmood of JUI-F. Chairman WAPDA, Chairman NDMA, a number of federal secretaries attended the meeting.

The prime minister announced to include Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) in CPEC projects and issued directives of early completion of K-IV bulk water project, construction of all the roads of industrial areas of the city and financially supports the provincial government in the procurement of Buses for BRT projects.

“We all have to work hard for the development of all the four provinces to steer the nation out of poverty and unemployment.” The chief minister, chairman P&D and provincial ministers briefed the prime minister about different projects and issues.


Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said his government would request China to incorporate the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The prime minister, while talking to the media after meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here, said initially, the Chinese government had hinted at including the KCR in CPEC, and he would take up the matter again.

‘K-IV Augmentation’

The prime minister was told that the augmentation works of K-IV would cost Rs52.34 billion. The augmentation works include connectivity of the outlet of reservoirs being developed under the Greater Bulk Water Supply Scheme (phase-I 260 MIGD) to the main KWSB system in the city.

Under other works Pipri system of 65 MIGD is being developed to improve water supply in District Malir, Korangi and Cantonment Areas. Water supply in District South, Central and Some Areas of District West is also being improved at 130 MIGD. The Hub System (65 MIGD)is also being upgraded to improve water supply in District West, North Karachi, Surjani, North Nazimabad & SITE Areas.

The chief minister requested the prime minister to finance Rs10 billion for K-IV augmentation works because the funds committed by donor agencies would flow in January 2023. At this the prime minister said that his government would support the Sindh government to complete augmentation works well in time.

‘K-IV project’

The prime minister was told that 260 MGD K-IV, Phase-I costing Rs.126.4 billion has been approved and being executed by WAPDA with federal government funding.

The chief minister requested that the prime minister direct NEPRA to approve tariff rates for K-IV. He also urged the PM to make all the required funds of K-IV available so that it could be completed in time.

The prime minister vowed to provide all the required funds in time and directed the chairman WAPDA to start work on war footings to provide water to the city.

Karachi Transformation Plan:

The prime minister was told that KTP was announced in 2020 with an outlay of Rs1.17 trillion for various projects in the areas of water supply, sewerage treatment management, internal roads and Mass transit in Karachi. The share of provincial government is Rs686 billion whereas federal PSDP share is Rs487 billion, the chief minister said and added the total cost of public private partnership projects, at an advanced stage, was Rs176.9 billion and total viable gap fund/equity for the projects was Rs32 billion every year.

The chief minister requested the prime minister to issue necessary directives for issuance of sovereign guarantee/VGF for mega PPP projects and allocate Rs10 billion per year  to finance provincial governments annual obligation of Rs32 billion.

At this the prime minister assured the chief minister that the federal government would support the Sindh government. The prime minister was told that Sindh Infrastructure Development Co. Limited (SIDCL) was a public sector development company established under the companies Act 2017 for execution of schemes by Federal Government in KarachiUnder the company 10 schemes of Rs.47.913 billion with an allocated of Rs.10.297 billion in PSDP 2021-2022 were in progress.The chief minister requested the prime minister to abolish SIDCL and all its assets and schemes may be transferred to the Sindh government for execution. The prime minister asked the chief minister to send him a proposal so that necessary action could be taken.

‘Karachi Circular Railway (KCR)’

The PM was told that in 2016 KCR project was included by 6th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) for its inclusion in CPEC projects. The KCR project was approved by ECNEC at a cost of Rs.207.546 billion in 2017 under CPEC funding.

Now the project has been revised by ECNEC in 2022 for Rs.181 billion to be taken up under PPP mode. At this the prime minister said that under the PPP mode the project would be delayed. He decided to include the project in CPEC projects.

‘Hyderabad – Sukkur Motorway’

The chief minister told the prime minister that the Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway project was approved by ECNEC in 2022 at a cost of Rs.165.7 billion under PPP. He added that the project envisaged construction of 306 km long, 6 lane wide, access controlled fenced motorwayThe scope of work includes one main bridge, 165 sub-ways, 123 cattle creeps, 30 kms service roads on either side, 10 service areas and 12 rest areas. The prime minister said that he would include the project in CPEC.

Three hospitals:

The meeting was told that after devolution, in July 2011, the three Hospitals- Jinnah PostGraduate Medical Center Karachi, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases Karachi and National Institute of Child Health Karachi were transferred to the Sindh government.

The prime minister decided that the federal and. Provincial governments ministers should sit together to hand over the control of the hospitals to the Sindh government. He agreed that the provincial government was running these hospitals properly.

The prime minister was told that on 22nd September 2020 replacing PMDC Ordinance 1962, National Assembly of Pakistan passed Pakistan Medical Commission Act 2020 with the objective to regulate medical profession, medical education and to recognize medical and dental qualification all over Pakistan.

Through the new legislation, Pakistan Medical Commission has withheld the provinces from conducting a centralized provincial/regional medical and dental college admission test and has given this power to the National Medical Authority, who shall conduct annually, as per the standards approved by the National Medical and Dental Academic Board, a centralized single admissions test (MDCAT) throughout Pakistan on virtual platform.

The chief minister said that the PMC Act 2020 did not appreciate the fact that all the provinces have their own academic syllabus / curriculum and that MDCAT cannot be made a centralized / single admissions test. “Approach of this nature is violative of the Fundamental Rights of the students who tend to seek admissions in different medical universities on merit,” he said. Mr Shah said that the PMC Act 2020 has not even taken on board the Provinces and stakeholders in respect of conducting a centralized / single admissions test. The PMC Act has proved to be a disaster for smaller provinces as it allows private sector medical colleges and universities to admit students irrespective of their domiciled province, the CM said and added MDCAT test was carried out from the syllabus of Federal government at a higher passing percentage of 65 percent. Therefore, the passing percentage of students of Sindh remained low. He said that Sindh Cabinet approved the proposal of Health Department to lower passing percentage in MDCAT-2021 to 50 percent from 65 percent so that the candidates having not less than 50 percent in MDCAT-2021 were considered as eligible for admission in MBBS and BDS Session 2021-22 while the overall weightage for evaluation the merit remains the same as per following formula.The Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) officially turned down the Sindh government’s request to slash the MDCAT passing percentage for admissions to private medical and dental colleges in the province, Murad Shah said and added due to this decision of Pakistan Medical Commission, Sindh Province would be facing shortage of doctors in future as most of the seats in private medical and dental universities and colleges would remain unfilled.The chief minister requested the Prime Minister to consider the decision of Sindh Cabinet and issue necessary directions to Pakistan Medical Commission to register the students of Public and Private Medical and Dental Universities and Colleges who have been admitted as per the criteria set by the Sindh Health Department,  He added that the Prime Minister may consider the proposal of conducting one separate entry test at provincial level by each province of Pakistan as per their syllabus / curriculum for the admission in their respective  Public and Private Medical and Dental Universities and Colleges.

At this the prime minister asked the chief minister to send him the proposal and request in writing so that action could be taken accordingly.

‘Prime Minister visits MQM-P Headquarters’

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the MQM-P headquarters where he was welcomed by MQM-P convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and other party leaders. According to MQM-P leaders, the prime minister thanked the party leaders for supporting him in the election and assured that agreement with the party would implemented in letter and spirit.

The MQM-P also sought support from the prime minister for delimitations and fresh census. “Our prime objective for now is to get our agreement with the alliance implemented and soon half of it will be implemented after approval from the Sindh Assembly,” Khawaja Izhar ul Hassan said and added, “Getting slots in the federal cabinet and governorship is not yet our priority.

‘A new university in Karachi’

Prime Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif Wednesday while stressing upon timely completion of important development projects like Karachi Circular Railway and K-4, announced establishment of a new university in Karachi.

The prime minister visited MQM-P head office to meet the leadership of MQM. The MQM leadership felicitated the prime minister on his election. They assured to work closely with the federal government for the welfare of the residents, the development and progress of the province, particularly of Karachi, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

The meeting was attended by convenor MQM Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, senior deputy convenor Aamir Khan, Syed Aminul Haq, Dr Faroogh Naseem and Kanwar Jameel. Members of the National Assembly Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Maulana Asad Mahmood, Ahsan Iqbal and others were present during the meeting. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also attended the meeting. The prime minister appreciated the coalition parties’ resolve for the public welfare.

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