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Iran Councilor General expresses eagerness to invest in energy, oil & gas and hydropower projects

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has offered the Iranian government to renegotiate the MoUs signed between the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Iranian public and private sectors in order to push these projects into the implementation phase. The change is visible as pledged by the Prime Minister of Pakistan in the province and assured to open up energy, oil & gas, hydel power generation and tourism related projects in the province. The government would facilitate visas to ease doing bossiness in the province, he added.

He was talking to the councilor general of Islamic Republic of Iran who called on him at his office in Chief Minister Secretariat Peshawar. Advisor to Chief Minister on merged districts & Spokesperson Ajmal Khan Wazir, Principal Secretary to CM Muhammad Israr, Commissioner Peshawar Shahab Ali Shah and other officials were also present on the occasion. Welcoming the Iranian offer for investment in different sectors, exchange of trade & commerce, culture, tourism and student and media delegations, the Chief Minister said his government would go all out for enhanced engagement with Iranian government. He said that a high level delegation of the government of Pakistan would soon visit Iran which would further cement the already existed brotherly relations between the two countries.

The Chief Minister said that the province has a lot of potential in a number of sectors that could become the base for rapid development of the province. The PTI government wanted to put this province on expeditiously development and prosperity and the foreign and brotherly countries investment in different sectors would enhance the level of cooperation. He assured to cooperate with the Iranian investors and looked to the different events both in culture and other sector by the Iranian consulate Peshawar.

He also congratulated the Iranian government and the people for their 40th year revolutionary day celebrations. He also agreed to facilitate exchange of visits of heads of travelling agencies for the promotion of tourism, adding that this province is going to be the best tourism destination in the foreseeable future. Therefore his government would ease out the visa process in this regard, he assured.

The Chief Minister said that the merger of erstwhile FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had opened the entire region for development. He directed his advisor and spokesperson Ajmal Khan Wazir to interact with the Iranian councilor general to further enhance the level of cooperation between the people of two countries.

Iran Councilor general expressed his eagerness to invest in energy, oil & gas and hydropower projects in the province. He assured to further process on the projects for which MoUs have been signed and assured all sort of facilitation and investment in different sectors. He also talked about the exchange of trade, commerce, bushiness, travelling agents, students and journalist’s delegation. He was especially interested in the investment of different merged districts adding that despite difficult time, the Iranian government was given scholarships to the students of the province. He also extended the invitation to the Chief Minister for visiting Iran and requested to solve the problems related to Iranian consulate in the University Town Peshawar. The Chief Minister assured to resolve this problem and he would soon visit Iran. Later the Chief Minister and Iranian council general exchanged shields.

Furthermore Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan agreed in principle to the shifting of Galyat Development Authority from the administrative control of Local Government to the Tourism Department.

Decision to this affect was made in a high level meeting, the Chief Minister presided over at his Office in Chief Minister Secretariat. Senior Minister Atif Khan, Minister for Tourism, Minister Local Government Shehram Khan Tarakai, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Israr Khan, Secretaries Local Government and Tourism Departments attended the meeting.

The meeting thoroughly debated different functions of Galyat Development Authority and agreed to the re-distributions of functions and reallocation of responsibilities afresh. The meeting also agreed to develop the adjoining areas of Khanpur dam on tourism lines in order to direct local and national tourists to this picturesque place.

The meeting also agreed to expedite work on the Women Park Mardan. The meeting also came up with the decision that District Administration would reallocate places within the already allocated 40 canal of land for the establishment of different office of Nation building Departments to facilitate efficient services in Mardan.

The meeting agreed to define the jurisdiction of Galyat Development Authority with special focus on the development of certain social services and facilities.

The specialized functions would stay with tourism for the development of special scenic spots on tourism lines and necessary amendments in the rules of business of tourism would be brought about.

The municipal services will stay with municipal bodies. The proposed amendments would determine the functions and responsibilities afresh.

The meeting was informed about the incoming Switzerland investment for construction of 3-Five Star Hotels and therefore the necessary work should be initiated. The Chief Minister directed the relevant bodies to sit together and workout modalities and settle down the legal dimensions of the whole scheme in order to facilitate the handing over of Galyat Development Authority from the administrative control of Local Government to Tourism Department.

However the Chief Minister agreed in principle to the whole scheme adding that the legal sides should be looked into and a legal way out should be followed.