All hurdles must be removed in Reko Diq project: PM

Shehbaz Sharif directs authorities to ensure foolproof security of personnel, logistics n Orders to upgrade road network to link Reko Diq project with Gwadar n Reko Diq all set to revolutionize local economy: Mark Bristow.


LAHORE  -  Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday directed that security should be ensured for those working on the Reko Diq mining project and for the logistics and transport from Reko Diq to the Gwadar seaport.

He was chairing an important meeting regarding the Reko Diq min­ing project here in Lahore. A delega­tion of Barrick Gold Company led by its Chief Executive Officer Mark Bris­tow took part in the meeting through video-link. The PM said consulta­tions should be held with all stake­holders regarding the project at the official level and all the obstacles should be removed.

He said planning should be initiated for improvement in the communica­tion infrastructure especially railway lines for utilising the minerals of Balochistan, add­ing work for the upgradation of the road network to link Reko Diq project with Gwa­dar port by road, should be completed at the earliest. Wherever new roads were being con­structed, the pace of construc­tion should be increased, he re­marked.

The PM said a strategy should be formed for the feasibili­ty of a rail and road network from Reko Diq to Gwadar port. He said the railway line proj­ect from Reko Diq to Gwadar would make access to the port short and easy and as compared to Bin Qasim port the distance would also be less. The new railway line would be beneficial for the mineral-rich district of Chaghi and the mining industry would expand, he added.

He sought a detailed briefing next week on the Reko Diq road and rail connectivity project. He also instructed that all hurdles should be removed at the official level for early completion of the environment and social impact assessment regarding the Reko Diq project. During the meeting, it was told that the feasibility of the Reko Diq project would be completed by December 2024.

Every month, 6000 containers would be transported from the Reko Diq project to the port. The concentrate pipeline of the proj­ect would be the second-longest slurry pipeline in the world. The mining company would con­struct the link road from Reko Diq to the national highway 40.

It was further told that the 103-kilometer Nokandi to Mash­khel road, which would connect Reko Diq to the Gwadar port, was 58 percent complete.

Minister for Finance and Rev­enue Muhammad Aurangzeb, Minister for Petroleum Musadiq Malik, Deputy Chairman Plan­ning Commission Muhammad Jehanzeb and high-level offi­cials attended the meeting.

‘Govt cognizant of addressing TB as public health priority’ 

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said that provision of universal ac­cess to quality essential health services was the constitution­al responsibility of the Govern­ment that recognized the impor­tance of addressing Tuberculosis (TB) as a public health priority. 

The government has imple­mented various programmes and policies to combat this dis­ease, the prime minister said in a message on World TB Day. 

“On this World TB Day 2024, I applaud the services of everyone committed to the fight against tuberculosis and reiterate our Government’s resolve towards supporting the initiatives aimed at eradicating TB and improving the health and well-being of our citizens,” PM Office Media Wing, in a press release, quoted the prime minister as saying. 

The prime minister said Tu­berculosis remained a signif­icant global health challenge, causing immense suffering and claiming far too many lives ev­ery year. 

“It is crucial that we priori­tize TB elimination in our glob­al health agenda and allocate resources accordingly. Togeth­er, we can harness innovation, research, and technology to ac­celerate progress towards a TB-free world,” he added. 

The prime minister said that while they strived to provide eq­uitable health services to their citizens, they deeply appreciat­ed the role of the private sector and our global partners. 

“I call upon all partners, or­ganisations, healthcare profes­sionals, and individuals to unite in our efforts to end TB. We must work collaboratively to strength­en healthcare systems, increase access to quality diagnosis and treatment, and raise awareness about the importance of TB pre­vention and control measures,” he stressed. The prime minister further pledged to work togeth­er, leaving no room for compla­cency, in their mission to elimi­nate TB from Pakistan.

Barrick Gold Corporation’s President and Chief Executive, Mark Bristow on Sunday said that the Reko Diq project was revolu­tionary and would change the fate of Baluchistan by revolutioniz­ing the local economy. In an inter­view with a private news channel, he stated that an estimated $10 billion would be invested during next eight to nine years, which would boost the mining indus­try and the local economy. He said that he underscored the compa­ny’s commitment to sustainable development, job creation and community empowerment.

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