MITHI       -         Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that Tharis will get their due royalties of the coal reserves from June this year.  He was addressing the ceremony at Thar Cultural Festival 2020 with the theme of Salam Pakistan, which was jointly organised by Sindh government, Engro Energy Limited, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company, Thar Foundation, Shanghai Electric Company with the support of Pakistan Rangers Sindh in Marvi Cricket Ground in Mithi. The festival was attended by thousands of people where dozens of local culture stalls were showcased.

Different organisations and individuals presented local folk dances and music instruments, skits presented by school children, camel dance, horse races, tent pegging, dog show, military and Sindh Rangers band, malakhra competitions, livestock marches and mix martial arts show presented by school children of Thar Foundation. The ceremony was also addressed by EEL Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ahsan Zafar Syed and SECMC CEO, Syed Abul Fazal Rizvi.

The chief minister also distributed the cash awards, shields and certificates among those, who had participated in the event performed various contests, including hose and camel riding, martial arts, bands by both the jawans of Pakistan Army and Rangers and various other contest during the day-long festival.

The chief minister said that Sindh government was fully committed to provide all the amenities of the life to those, who were being displaced from Thar Coalfields near Islamkot adding he said that Tharis as the commitment of PPP chairman Bilawal Zardari would begin get the royalties of the huge reserves of their black gold from June this year.

The chief minister said that it was the responsibility of the Sindh government to provide all the facilities under Social Corporate Responsibly (CRS) to all those being displaced from their ancestral villages due to the mining in more blocks adding that the firms including SECMC, Shanghai Electric to produce around four thousands megawatts of the electricity within the stipulated time, as according to him, the work on both mining and setting up the power plants was going on with the heavy required machinery.

Murad Shah said that people of entire Islamkot taluka were utilising free electricity up to two hundreds of the power since Sindh government was paying their bills after Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had announced while inaugurating the power plants in March last year.

He advised the people living in Thar Coalfields not to sell their lands coming under the mining instead they should demand the Sindh government to arrange model villages like Senhari Dars for them. He said that both mining firms engaged in coal extraction and producing the power by setting up more plants had already achieved their financial closes by arranging the required funds for the extraction and power production. He said that Thar had not changed Pakistan by producing the minerals but also set the great example of interfaith harmony envisioned by founder of the country, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

“Thar is not the rich in the minerals but also matchless in the culture, natural beauty, hospitality and great interfaith harmony among both Hindus and Muslims living in the desert region for centuries together like their real brothers,” the CM added.

“The mining companies are giving the jobs to over 70 percent local Tharis from officers to the workers,” he added and said that it was the responsibility of Sindh government to cater to the requirements of Tharis. He said that on the demand of Tharis Sindh government had already set up the campus NED University where not the Tharis were getting the technical education but the people from the remote areas of Gilgat Balistan had sought the admission acquire the education adding he said that campus would be shifted from Mithi to Islamkot-Mithi road Sindh government had acquired nearly 350 acres of the land where he said that the present provincial Govt before completing its tenure would establish a grand university.

The chief minister lauded the efforts of SECMC firm for not only providing the quality healthcare, education, safe drinking water but also for the model villages to those, who were displaced due to the mining. He said that it was the matter of the pride for him that students of the schools established by Thar Foundation were excelling in various fields both at national and intentional level,” he added and they accomplished the Herculean task very easy to provide the access to Tharis to rest of the province. He also praised the efforts of DG Rangers Sindh Omer Ahmed Bukhari for fully cooperating in organising such a grand culture event in Mithi.

Murad informed said that Sindh Minister for Culture and Tourism Syed Sardar Ali Shah was all set to organise another culture festival in the hilly town of Nagarparkar in February this year.

Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Syed – Chief Executive Officer of Engro Energy said: “Salaam Pakistan festival is a celebration of the rich culture and potential of Thar. Engro together with the Government of Sindh & its partners has deployed a public private partnership model which has proven to be a success story in terms of providing host of socio-economic opportunities to the people of Thar and Sindh. Together we are pioneering to make Thar not just the energy capital of the country but a model tehsil and taluka of Sindh where basic amenities are available for all and the communities have access to a higher standard of living. As we go forward we look forward to partnering with the Government to establish more such models for the betterment of Pakistan.”