MA minister Zaidi envisions a maritime nation

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday – May 19, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The maritime affairs (MA) minister, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, was called on by ambassador of China to Pakistan Yao Jing, Monday, in the backdrop of a major initiative envisioned for Karachi residents, MA minister Zaidi has a vision is of transforming Pakistan into a maritime nation and especially raising the port city par excellence with leading ports.

According to an official statement, MA minister Zaidi is endeavouring for fast track projects designed to transform encroached land into systematically planned residential areas having all the basic amenities in a state of the art manner. The project is expected to attract substantial foreign direct investment (FDI).

During the meeting he shared with ambassador of China to Pakistan Jing that even during the present COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis port operations continued without any interruption.

It was highlighted by MA minister Zaidi that port Qasim handled 140 ships in the month of March and 130 ships in April this year which bears testimony to the dedication with which MA ministry is keeping the wheels of the economy running and Pakistan’s supply chain intact.

Moreover, the MA ministry intimated the ambassador of China to Pakistan Jing that deep sea fishing was allowed to resume, after complying with health standard operating procedures (SOP’s), so that the fishermen were not affected adversely due to cessation of fishing.

The ambassador of China to Pakistan Jing appreciated the two pronged strategy of prevention through strict adherence of SOPs and protection of employment and sustenance by MA ministry in these testing times.

“Globally, port runs the cities whereby revenue streams of ports are utilised for the betterment of the people” MA minister Zaidi observed, citing the examples of Los Angeles and New York ports.

“Karachi has been neglected since independence, resource allocation was minimum, with available resources plundered rampantly in collusion with property mafia and land grabbers” he lamented.

The project initially set for launch in the first quarter of 2020 got delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Pioneering the concept of blue economy in Pakistan, the MA ministry is poised to launch projects leading to sustainable exploitation of marine resources, and enhancement in turnaround time of cargo at ports.

An enabling environment is being established in a transparent and non discriminatory manner.

These initiatives are the outcome of efforts of the MA minister Zaidi, emphasising the significance of Pakistan’s coastline of more than a 1,000 kilometres (kms) and harnessing of the maritime potential which can rid the country of debt.