Islamabad, June 29, 2013 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that Baluchistan Government has the free hand to take decision in the matters relating to the natural resources of the Province, the Federal Government and the Ministry of Petroleum will provide support and facilitation to the Provincial Government.
He stated this while meeting with a visiting delegation of Baluchistan Government led by Chief Minister Baluchistan, Dr. Abdul Malik Baluch.
Talking to the delegation, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that all decisions related to the minerals and other Natural Resources of Baluchistan are to be taken by the Baluchistan Government. The constitution is clear in this regard and the Ministry desires to facilities the Baluchistan Government. “It is now the responsibility of the Baluchistan Government to take wise and long-term policy decisions in the best interest of the people of Baluchistan and the Federation of Pakistan as a whole”., The Minister continued.
Prominent lawyer and former Caretaker Law Minister, Ahmer Bilal Sufi gave a detailed presentation to the meeting on the legal issues relating to the Reko Diq project.
Chief Minister Baluchistan, Dr. Abdul Malik Baluch said, “We will not go into the past. We have a relationship of trust with the present Federal Government of PML (N) and Prime Minister, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Shareef. “We will go ahead with this mutual trust for the betterment of the people of Baluchistan and will protect the interests of the Province.” he pledged.
He shared with the Minister Petroleum the problems and constraints faced by the people of Baluchistan and the Baluchistan Government on various issues. He also proposed the establishment of a joint working group comprising highly technical and legal experts both from Federal and Provincial Governments. This joint working group will help and advise the Provincial Government in legal and technical matters of the project.
While responding to the Baluchistan Chief Minister’s observations, the Minister said that the Reko Diq project is vital for the country. He said that this project is highly technical and it should be taken up on a commercial basis.
He advised that legal and technical consultants of international repute be hired to address the details of the terms of the agreement of the project. The Minister emphasized that long term and consistent policy measures must be taken to win the trust of the investor, as rapid policy changes dilute the interest of the investor.
Secretary Finance Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, Abid Saeed, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, Chief Secretary Baluchistan and other senior officer of Ministry of Petroleum and Baluchistan Government were also present in the meeting.
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