Saturday, 13 September 2014

Quaid-i-Azam’s Residency restored to its original shape

ZIARAT: Located in the mountainous Ziarat valley, Quaid-i-Azam’s Residency, which was destroyed by the militants in  June 2013, has been restored to its original glory.

The construction work, which was initiated under the supervision of renowned architect Nayyar Ali Dada, was completed in record four months.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the restored building of the Residency on Wednesday.

Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Shareef, federal ministers Abdul Qadir Baloch, Jam Kamal Khan and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri,Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai and Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, senior minister and PML-N Balochistan president Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri, Commander Southern Command Lt Gen. Nasser Khan Janjua, cabinet members, MPAs and provincial chief secretary  Saifullah Chatha were also present.

Ziarat Residency, a rest house used by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his last days, was burnt to ashes when miscreants stormed it on the night between June 13 and 14, 2013.

The provincial government did not accept the offer by the Federal Government and donors for the construction of the national monument.

“Qaid’s Residency has been restored to its original shape at a cost of Rs 140 million,” said the chief secretary while briefing the prime minister.

Under the supervision of Nayyar Ali Dada, execution committee worked day and night to rehabilitate the building, he added.

He noted that the terrorist act had almost raised 8,000 square feet area of the building. Only some material, including stones used in the walls and metal tubs etc remained safe.

“Diyar, Teak and some other precious wood has been used in the reconstruction of the building,” he added.

< Aaj News >

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Kohlu-Dera Bugti area of Balochistan: E&P companies restart activities

Following an effective methodology adopted by the government, exploration and production (E&P) companies have restarted oil and gas exploration activities in the militancy-infested Kohlu-Dera Bugti area of Balochistan. The government has of late adopted an effective strategy to tap Pakistan''s biggest gas reserves of about 22 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) in the Kohlu-Dera Bugti area of Balochistan, which have the potential commercial value of $110 billion and realistic value of $77 billion and will last for 100 years.

"We are currently making a strategy for initiating gas exploration in district Kohlu and other potential areas with huge oil and gas reserves after a long wait for easing of the tension and armed resistance of the followers of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti following his killing in a military operation on August 26, 2006," a senior government official told Business Recorder here on Thursday.

The new chief of Mari tribe Nawab Changez Khan Mari, Mir Jam Kamal Khan, State Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, and PML-N Balochistan chapter chief Sardar Sanaullah Zehri have played an effective role in normalising the situation, which has enabled the E&P companies like state-run OGDCL, Mari Petroleum Limited and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) to restart operations in the region," the official added.

"The US-based Occidental Petroleum Corporation prepared a seismic report of Kohlu district costing $20 million in 1992-93 and confided to the then government that the area has the potential gas reserves of 22 trillion cubic feet, which is enough for the next 100 years. But tension between Nawab Akber Bugti and the then regime had led to the stoppage of the initiation of exploration activities.

Out of the 22 TFC, the official said, 15 TFC gas reserves are easily recoverable. Kohlu district is located some 20 kilometers from Sui, where gas reserves of eight TFC were discovered some 50 years back. Pakistan has so far utilised only five TFC of gas reserves of the Sui gas field in 50 years while five TFC gas reserves are yet to be utilised. In the past, the government failed to launch exploration activities in Kohlu, Dera Bugti and Barkhan areas of the Balochistan because of the armed resistance by the followers of Nawab Bugti.

The government has awarded an exploration license to the Oil and Gas Company Limited (OGDCL) on December 29, 2004 of Block No 2968-3 of Kohlu covering an area of 2459.11 sq km, located in Kohlu and Dera Bugti agencies, district Barkhan of Balochistan. The block falls in the prospective Zone-II, Kohlu. This is a joint venture of the OGDCL and MGCL with working interest shares: OGDCL: 60 percent (Operator) and MGCL: 40 percent.

OGDCL had constructed an 80-kilometer long road which connected Kup -a far-flung area of Kohlu- with the main highway to start the exploration activities in the area, official said and added that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is personally monitoring the situation and has directed the OGDCL and other companies to materialise these projects as early as possible. For the exploration activities, the government has not only engaged local politicians and tribal leaders but has also started a number of health, education, socio-economic projects for welfare of the locals.

< Business Recorder >

Monday, 11 August 2014

World Bank to provide Rs 10.57 million to Balochistan Anti-Corruption Dept

QUETTA: The World Bank under its Governance Support Project will provide Rs 10.57 million assistance to the Anti-Corruption Department of Balochistan, official sources said on Friday.

Mohammad Zaman Khan, Project Director Governance Support Program has signed an agreement with Noor Bashar Sami, Director Anti-Corruption Department of Balochistan here. The assistance aims at providing latest technology to the Anti-Corruption Department, capacity building of the staff and financial aid. The step would help ensure good governance and ending corruption from the society. Under the project to be completed under the supervision of World Bank call centres would be established so that citizen’s complainants against the corruption could be tackled effectively.

A website in this connection would be established to provide forum to the citizens for lodging their online complaints. Apart from this, media campaign would be launched to create awareness about corruption. The project would also focus on the formation of inter-provincial coordination forum in order to implement on the success stories and experiences of other provinces.

< The News >

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Independence Day to be celebrated with great zeal in Balochistan

QUETTA: The government and its institutions, including the Pakistan Army and the Frontier Corps (FC) have planned for splendid celebrations of Independence Day throughout Balochistan, this year.

This was disclosed by General Nasir Janjua while briefing the newsmen on the occasion of iftar-dinner, hosted for the leading journalists and media persons and officials, on Saturday. Senior most officers of the Pakistan Army and the Frontier Corps also attended the iftar-dinner. He said that T-20, football, and hockey finals were held in three separate stadium of the provincial capital where the people were allowed to enter for free. Similar functions would be held in six divisional headquarters, in connection with the Independence Day celebrations and it would be part of the province wide grand celebrations.
Plans are afoot to organise a unity march as people from different regions and divisions of Balochistan would travel to Quetta and participate in the Independence Day celebrations, as the caravan from different regions would be entering the main stadium where the main function is being held, he added. The festivities would continue for three days, beginning from August 11 and finishing on August 14, the commander informed the newsmen. He said that the Military Police would also perform on the occasion while the army would organise the fireworks. At the same time, the mountaineers would display symbols from the hilltops, overlooking the capital.

He said that a speech contest with the theme of Pakistan and its idea would be held in coordination with the relevant quarters to promote the concept of the Pakistani nationalism. He said that since a coalition government is ruling the province, all top ranking leaders would also be invited to participate in the main function to be held on August 14. They would jointly perform the flag hoisting ceremony as a symbol of national unity and integrity, he added.

< Daily Times >

Friday, 11 July 2014

Balochistan schools to be linked with GPS, GIS

QUETTA: The Balochistan government is going to link its schools with GPS and GIS system to monitor the attendance of teachers and students at educational institutions.

This was said by Advisor to Chief Minister on Education, Sardar Raza Muhammad Baraich while speaking at a "Single School Teacher" seminar organised by non-governmental organization, Center for Peace and Development (CPD) here.

He said that reforms were being introduced in education system of Balochistan. "We are going to install GPS, GIS and Finger Prints Reading systems at government-run schools to monitor the attendance of teachers and students," he said adding that E-Learning Programme through video conference would also be introduced at schools.

He said that presently 1.1 million children were enrolled at schools while 2.2 million children were still out of schools.

He said that only 58,000 students out of total 1.1 million studying at schools reached Matriculate level and remaining left their schooling. He said that stakeholders and the community would have to jointly play their role to overcome the issue of dropout of students from schools.

"Only 30,000 teachers out of total 57,000 of Balochistan professionally are trained. Therefore, the Balochistan government decided to arrange their professional training courses during summer vacations," he said.

National Party MPA, Dr Shama Ishaq, National Party leader, Dr Ishaq Baloch, Rahat Malik, Executive Director CPD, Nasrullah Khan Baraich, Additional Secretary Education, Muhammad Tayyab Lehri and Saira Aata also attended the ceremony.

< Business Recorder >