Pakistan, Saudi Arabia review investment projects signed in February

A general view of Gwadar port in Gwadar, Pakistan, October 4, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 06 September 2019

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia review investment projects signed in February

  • Saudi deputy minister of energy meets Pakistan’s commerce minister and BoI chief
  • The two sides review progress on investment in energy, petroleum and mining sectors

KARACHI: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on Thursday discussed ways to expedite work on the Kingdom’s investment projects pledged under the $21 billion deals signed between the two countries in February this year.
A Saudi delegation headed by the Kingdom’s Deputy Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid bin Saleh Al-Mudaifer met Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and Chairman Board of Investment (BoI) Zubair Gilani to review progress on the implementation of investment projects.
“The visiting Saudi delegation held discussions to expedite projects in energy, petroleum and mining sectors,” a BoI official, who declined to be named, told Arab News.
During the meeting, the Saudi “delegation appreciated the progress on the investment front made during the previous year and described it as more the combined progress of the last ten years,” the official added.
Pakistan has also offered Saudi investors to explore investment opportunities in power sector which has already been identified for privatization.
Saudi Arabia is also interested in the mining sector, especially in the mineral resources of the country’s southwestern Balochistan province. “Mining in Balochistan is a provincial subject but the BoI has assured full support to Saudi investors. Where the potential exists, the BoI will support the implementation of projects,” the official informed.
Faced with energy shortage, Pakistan is taking steps to increase the share of renewable energy in its total energy mix which is dominated by fossil fuel at present. “During the meeting it was also decided to speed up the progress on the project for renewable power generation in Balochistan,” the official said.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had signed seven investment agreements during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s official visit to Islamabad in February this year.
These consist of a mega oil refinery that will be constructed in Pakistan’s Balochistan province for $11 billion and will house a petrochemical complex project in Gwadar deep-sea port.
The proposed mega oil refinery and petrochemical complex to be set up by Saudi Arabia will help Pakistan with technology, skill enhancement and human capital development. It will also result in employment generation and development of downstream, allied sectors.


Urdu comic book 'Little Master' to help Pakistani children fight COVID-19 misinformation

Updated 19 September 2020

Urdu comic book 'Little Master' to help Pakistani children fight COVID-19 misinformation

  • The book tells the story of a young boy from Karachi's Lyari, who is learning about the virus to help others
  • 'Little Master' is illustrated by Umair Najeeb Khan, the creator of Pakistan’s first superhero comic book series 'Paak-Legion'

RAWALPINDI: "Little Master," an Urdu-language comic book, is going to be released on Monday to guide Pakistani children how to stay safe amid the coronavirus pandemic and cope with COVID-19 misinformation.
Published by Mehrdar Art & Production (MAP), the book tells the story of Ahmed, a young boy from Karachi's Lyari area, who is trying to learn about the coronavirus to help keep others safe, regardless of their community background.
"Comics are a great way to tell a story positively and are really useful in countering misinformation,” Muhammad Faheem, documentary filmmaker and MAP founder, told Arab News on Saturday.

The cover of "Little Master," an Urdu-language comic book to help Pakistani children cope with COVID-19 misinformation. (Photo courtesy of Muhammad Faheem via AN)

The efforts have been funded by MAP itself and through government and private support. To illustrate "Little Master," Faheem asked for help Umair Najeeb Khan, the creator of Pakistan’s first superhero comic book series "Paak-Legion."
Thousands of copies of "Little Master" will be distributed at schools in underprivileged areas such as Lyari, where misinformation has led to blame games and community tensions that affected virus response. Some narratives even questioned the very existence of the virus and necessity to follow any precautions against it.

Umair Najeeb Khan is working on an illustration for the "Little Master" comic book in Islamabad on Sept. 19, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Umair Najeeb Khan via AN)

In May, Faheem rolled out "Hum Sab Saath, Corona ki Kilaaf" ("All of Us Together Against the Coronavirus"), a campaign through posters, social media and talks by community leaders to address the situation.
"It got to the point where relief efforts in these areas were being compromised because people were questioning who deserved help," Faheem said. "We needed to address not only the severity of what was going on but educate the citizens of these areas on what was real information to help combat the fake news and rising bigotry."
The comic book is a follow up to these efforts.
"When kids read our comics, we hope they will learn more about the pandemic and how it is a collective effort that we all have to join together, regardless of our backgrounds."