|‘Pak-Iran gas pipeline is a boon for the country’||
Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, the federal minister for religious affairs, said that he is confident about the government’s move to go ahead with the gas pipeline project with Iran, as this will create new job opportunities.
He said this at a ceremony organised at a factory in Sukkur to distribute appointment letters to railway workers who had been offered permanent jobs. The government’s agreement last week to build a 1,600 kilometer-long gas pipeline has drawn criticism from the U.S., which feels that it violates sanctions imposed on Iran . Baloch leaders have also castigated the government’s recent decision to hand over the Gwadar port to Chinese companies. But Shah defended both of the moves.
“The founder of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, stood up to threats from the international community and made the country a nuclear power. He went to the gallows with his head held high,” said Shah. “Similarly, President Asif Ali Zardari has signed a gas pipeline agreement with Iran and handed the Gwadar Port to a Chinese company despite threats of sanctions by the U.S..”
Shah added that the projects will create job opportunities for young people and bring prosperity to the country. “Poverty is the root cause of social evils. When everybody becomes prosperous, the crime rate will decrease. In short we are leaving the government amid threats of dire consequences, but we are happy that we have done something positive for the nation.”
Commenting on the completion of the government’s five-year tenure he said, “We have served the masses without any discrimination. The government offered permanent jobs to 11,000 railway workers working on temporary contracts. A total of 35,000 National Commission for Human Development workers and 105,000 lady health workers were also offered permanent jobs.”
Shah added that this was the main difference between dictatorship and democracy. “Dictators deprive people of jobs and legitimate rights, while democracies take care of their basic needs.” He then took a jab at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, saying that only the PPP has stood up to dictators. “If Nawaz is ready to say that heroin, Kalashnikov culture, extremism and terrorism are the gifts of the dictator General Ziaul Haq, then I will accept the PML-N chief as the king of democracy. Sacrificing one’s life for the country and democracy is not easy. Not a single dictator made sacrifices for the country. Only Bhutto did.”
Later, Shah distributed appointment letters to 73 railway workers who had been working on daily contracts for the last 11 years.
(Source: The Express Tribune)
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