ISLAMABAD: Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Friday said that around 200,000 Pakistanis are currently working in Qatar and another 100,000 will get jobs in the gulf country.
Speaking with the press about Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s official visit to Qatar, the minister said that the trip was immensely beneficial.
His comments came after Qatar announced to invest $3 billion in Pakistan. The minister further added that the gulf nation will invest in different sectors including the seaport.
He denied rumours about the sale of Pakistan’s airports to Qatar, blaming propagandist for turning the PM’s visit into a failure.
“Airports will 100% remain under Pakistan’s ownership,” the minister said, sharing that the government wants to upgrade its airports and that no offer to sell shares of the airport was made during the visit.
“No country sells its airports,” Rafiq remarked, adding that the outsources model, however, is being applied around the world.
The minister stated that airport’s in India and Turkey are also being operated on this model.
He also denied rumours regarding the sale of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and the Roosevelt Hotel in New York and stressed that it was “not the subject of discussion”.
“Among the total 42 airports across the country, at least 11 are not operative,” the minister said, informing about the number of operating airports.
Rafiq added that Islamabad’s airport is being operated at half the capacity.
“We have neither sought a loan from Qatar nor we have had any discussions about it,” the minister shared, requesting serious individuals to avoid such discussions and investments coming in the country should be celebrated.
He added that those spreading rumours are trying to jeapordise potential job opportunities that 100,000 Pakistanis could benefit from.