ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has said that the online registration system mandatory for participation in Gwadar Expo 2018 has deprived hundreds of local people from Gwadar and adjoining areas to participate in the upcoming Expo.
The two-day first ever International Exhibition in Gwadar Free Zone will jointly be organized on January 29-30 by China Overseas Ports Holding Company and Gwadar Port Authority. Over 200 Companies from both Pakistan and China in various sectors will participate in the exhibition.
The Gwadar Expo 2018 will be a mega event in Balochistan’s history which would help the exhibitors and the participants to understand the real potential of Gwadar port.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Central Information Secretary PPP Dr Nafisa Shah said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government is insensitive towards the rights of the people of Balochistan and in this case, Gwadar.
“The purpose of the Expo is to invite and attract investments in Gwadar in order to develop it into an industrial hub. However it is imperative that local communities in Gwadar own the process of development and are an integral part of businesses, growth and even investment”, Nafisa Shah said.
Nafisa Shah said that unfortunately the PML-N government has made Gwadar an object and vehicle through which they will showcase the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) without taking into account the local communities and their needs.
With no internet working in the area an exclusively online system is likely to deprive local residents from participating in an important event, she said.
The Central Information Secretary PPP further raised her concern that despite investment in CPEC worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the people of Gwadar have yet to benefit from the process.
Nafisa Shah said that as yet there was no effort by the federal government to provide water and electricity to the communities of the area. She said that the success of CPEC must be measured by the development of the people of Gwadar which continue to be deprived of the basic needs like water and electricity.
The Deputy General Secretary PPP Balochistan Ejaz Baloch and the PPP Gwadar Chapter have demanded the federal government to ensure that the Expo is made inclusive and open event ensuring ownership of local businesses and small enterprises in the process.