Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa laid the foundation stone of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Swiss government-supported desalination plant in the port city of Gwadar. Image Credit: ISPR

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa laid the foundation stone of a key desalination plant in the port city of Gwadar.

General Bajwa launched the project, supported by the governments of the UAE and Switzerland, on Sunday during his two-day visit to the southwestern Balochistan province of Pakistan.

UAE Ambassador to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Ebrahim Al Za’abi, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Commander of Southern Command Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa, the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) DG as well as other officials attended the ceremony.

The desalination project is aimed at meeting the long-awaited demand of locals by providing 16.6 million litres of water per day, with capacity to increase to 34 million litres per day, according to the army’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The completion of the desalination plant would take six to eight months.

The desalination plant would provide clean water to the people of the water-scarce region who had to travel miles to fetch water from far flung areas.

Speaking at the occasion, Pakistan Army Chief said that, “Balochistan’s progress is Pakistan’s progress and the Pakistan Army will extend full support apart from assisting in the socioeconomic development of Balochistan.”

Highlighting the significance of the current projects as part of Khushal Balochistan Programme, the COAS underscored that the potential of Balochistan as regional economic hub would only be realised when people of Balochistan are best served by these projects.

“All measures in coordination with the civilian government would be taken to bring peace and prosperity in Balochistan.” These development projects, he said, would transform the lives of people of Balochistan and change the fate of the province.

Khushal Balochistan Programme was launched in 2017 to promote socioeconomic development and security across the province.

Later, the COAS also attended the closing ceremony of the Makran Festival held in Turbat in connection with Baloch Culture Day. During his visit, General Bajwa would also hold meetings with tribal elders.