KOHAT, Feb 01 (APP):Minister of State for Interior, Shahryar Afridi here on Friday said Pakistan has moved on road to progress and development after matchless sacrifices by its people and security forces in war against terrorism and foreign investment for development of militancy affected areas of Khyber Pakthunkhwa including merged tribal districts, would be highly welcomed.

He was addressing inauguration of Centre for Training of Teaching and Research, established with assistance of China at Kohat University of Science and Technology.

In his key note address, the Minister said southern districts of Khyber Pakthunkhwa including merged tribal districts are gateway to Central Asia and massive foreign investment will help bring economic prosperity and development imperative for regional integration.

He said Pakistan and China are two brotherly countries with all weather and deep-rooted relations since long and we loved China with core of our hearts.

He said Chinese investment in southern districts of Khyber Pakthunkhwa including merged tribal districts in mineral, oil and gas sectors would be highly welcomed. He said after merger of tribal districts into KP, he said, the KP’s southern districts will become hub of business and trade activities and socio-economic conditions of tribal people would be improved. “We have opened our doors for all those seeking investment and coming for tourism to Pakistan,” the Minister said, adding the new visa policy would help revive tourism and bring direct foreign investment to the country.

Under the new policy, he said the citizens of about 183 countries will be able to get visa electronically and over the internet, while visa-on-arrival facility would be provided to nationals of about 50 countries, including the Indian-origin US, Candia and UK nationals with passport of these countries in a short possible time in order to promote tourism in Pakistan.

The Minister said peace and development are our future and a clear message has been given to the enemy that we are united and ready to face any challenge. He said the nation had been searching for long for a honest and dynamic leader and finally found it in the shape of Prime Minister Imran Khan who had proved all speculations and propaganda of the world against Pakistan as wrong. Afridi said all the decisions are now being taken in the country in national interest.

As result of prudent economic policies of the government, he said there is an investment friendly environment for investors and more mega projects would be launched in Pakistan in near future because our country is being preferred for investment today.

The Minister said enemy had tried hard to divide the nation on linguistic basis but failed to do so. He said ‘hybrid’ war is being fought in a bid to control the minds of youth but it would also fail. “Let the world know that we are united and no force can disintegrate or divide us,” he said.

The State Minister said political opponents did not have anything except making propaganda for point scoring on petty issues to keep their sagging politics alive.

In his short address on the occasion, the Chinese Ambassador highlighted the importance of ongoing Chinese sponsored projects in Pakistan. Later, Pak-China friendship cake was also cut.