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PM inaugurates shiplift and transfer system at Karachi Shipyard

He is visiting the city for a day

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 10, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Aug 10, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Prime Minister Imran Khan has arrived in Karachi on a one-day visit on which he inaugurated the Shiplift and Transfer System at the shipyard. The prime minister was accompanied by Governor Imran Ismail and federal ministers.

The system can lift ships weighing up to 7,881 tonnes. It will enable the Karachi Ships and Engineering Works Ltd to lift ships from sea level to land. The ship then has 30 winches (motorized trollies) attached to it which will travel on a rail-linked network to one of the 13 workstations that are present in this system.

System to help lift ships weighing up to 7,881 tonnes

This will help in lifting bigger vessels for repair and maintenance which was not possible before as the repair works were done underwater previously. It will also allow the maintenance and repair of up to 13 ships simultaneously.

'Progressing through technology'

"Pakistan could not have moved as fast as it should but I am happy that we are making progress in technology,” he said at the inauguration. “We were weakened by foreign aid and now we are being independent and we are on the right path.”

The premier remarked the government is trying to curb corruption so that “illegal dollars” cannot be taken abroad. “The problem of poor countries is that their corrupt rulers send money abroad,” he said. “Our efforts have minimized the country's record deficit.”

He added that he will take every possible measure to increase exports.

Pakistan has gradually been heading towards prosperity as the government has steered the economy in the right direction, the PM remarked.

Plantation campaign at Sonmiani Beach

In the evening, the PM inaugurated a tree plantation campaign at Sonmiani Beach in Lasbela. He even addressed a gathering there.

"We have to develop Balochistan now and take the province forward," he said. Balochistan's development will lead to Pakistan's development. "We want to help Balochistan."

We can ensure prosperity among the people after the province's resources have been developed, he added. "I am lucky that I came here to your beautiful area."

Karachi transformation package

Opposition Leader in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh had shared that PM Khan will chair a meeting of the Karachi Transformation Committee. The participants, which will include all stakeholders, will review the progress on development projects worth Rs1,100 billion.

The Sindh government would be instructed to complete the work assigned to it. "Imran Khan's heart beats with Karachi," Sheikh claimed.

On September 5, 2020 the PM had announced a Rs1,100 billion package for Karachi. He said the money would be spent on different development projects and issues such as water shortage, sanitation, roads, and nullahs among others.

Where is Sindh CM?

It is being reported that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah did not welcome the PM on his arrival to Karachi.

He won't even participate in the meeting on the Karachi transformation package as he wasn't invited to attend it. Karachi transformation package is a big part of the Sindh government, said the provincial government's spokesperson.

The Sindh government and the ruling PTI don't see eye-to-eye on a number of topics. The problems started off between Sindh Governor Imran Ismail of the PTI and the PPP-led Sindh government, according to SAMAA TV political reporter Sanjay Sadhwani, who has covered it extensively. The governor is Imran Khan’s representative in Sindh, or the federal government’s man to put it simply. That sets the dynamic up as PTI vs PPP, which has the majority here. It began when the Sindh government would send its bills for the Governor to sign into law after the assembly had passed them. He would refuse, thereby frustrating the PPP’s lawmaking

Comment: Why Karachi’s temperature froze when Imran Khan visited Sukkur


For example, in May 2019, the Sindh Assembly MPAs voted and passed a bill to do away with a 158-year-old police law and bring in reforms to the force so its officers are more accountable and come under less political pressure. But Governor Imran Ismail did not sign the change into law and instead returned the bill to the assembly, saying it did not achieve reform. (Replace the Police Act of 1861 and revive the Police Order 2002). 

Then the two sides locked horns over Police IG Kaleem Imam in January 2020. There was disagreement over who should replace him. Sindh recommended some names but PTI allies were not on board. 

Then Covid hit and on the very day Imran Khan announced he would not be imposing a lockdown, the Sindh government declared its own defiant lockdown. The PM gave his speech at 3pm that day and Murad Ali Shah hit the airwaves at 4:30pm. Then an entire year under the pandemic was fraught with squabbles over statistics, beds, meds, protocols, hospitals. 

For an independent observer with no skin in the game, these openly aggressive press conferences laced with sarcasm, denunciation, and name-calling just appear to widen the rift. Sindh would like to pursue its own agenda and the federal government, for all its power, does not seem to want to play an enabling role or meet it half way. Given the language used in Sindh, it is clear its political leaders are in no mood to either budge.

Sadly, no conciliatory or mature voices from veteran politicians have been heard either. And so, for a while now, the positions appear to be becoming even more intractable.

Agenda

PM Khan is expected to hold meetings with different people and groups at the Governor House. He will be briefed on the progress of development projects in the city and the local security situation.

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PM Imran Khan, Karachi visit, KPT, tree plantation campaign
 

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