Hyderabad: Commander V Corps, Sindh Lieutenant General Shahid Baig Mirza Hilal-i-Imtiaz (M) has said that it’s a matter of pride for him as a Pakistani to witness the grand energy project in progress in Thar Block II, under the control of the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC). He held the Thar Foundation’s efforts in employing and awarding contracts to locals as ‘commendable’.Corp Commander Karachi visited the Thar Block II along with his family yesterday and observed the mining operations at the country’s first open-pit coal mine, under-construction power plant, and community development projects undertaken from the platform of the Thar Foundation, a nonprofit entity supported by the SECMC and Engro Powergen Thar Limited (EPTL).Appreciating the technical aspects of the project, Baig also expressed vehemently, “it’s the first project of its kind and it’s been done in such a meticulous manner that I feel proud as a Pakistani. I’m sure the project will prove to be the key game-changer in the country’s energy sector.”“Steps taken by the company Chief Shamsuddin Ahmed Shaikh for the community development are praiseworthy,” he added.Speaking about the livelihood opportunities given by the company to the local workforce, Corp Commander opined that the development in any area is not development if it does not benefit the local population. SECMC’s initiatives in this regard have taken some good steps for on-boarding of the local community and, therefore, the local population has started owning the project as their own.“The Thar Coal project will prove to be an important milestone in country’s development, and all projects of the CPEC are significant for Pakistan and, therefore, for Pakistan Army,” Corp Commander further expressed.Reassuring of security for CPEC projects, the Lt General said, “Pakistan Army and its subordinate forces will not allow a scratch on CPEC projects in Sindh, and foolproof security has been ensured in this regard.”He added that they are extending full support to the company administration and that people working on the project should keep the up the good work as they are vigilant about their safety. He also mentioned that their teams keep undertaking security audit frequently to that the project is successful. Corp Commander Karachi also visited the bio-saline agriculture project, model house, parks as well the Thar Foundation-supported primary school at village Mansingh Bheel where he mingled with the community and spent time with kids.Published in Daily Times, February 13th 2018.