Imtiaz Rafi Butt Chairman at Rafi Group talks about the organisation’s contribution towards Gwadar’s prosperity and development
Please brief us about the Rafi Group?
Rafi Group is the most respectable construction, engineering and project management company of Pakistan. Since 1978, Rafi Group has not only gained reverence and confidence of its customers through sheer professionalism, but has also led the most innovative projects across Pakistan that not only aim to design and deliver projects for profit but also promote long term progress and economic prosperity. Rafi Group gained the challenging first mover advantage in Gwadar and has now become the leading company targeting the uplift of livelihood of the people of Gwadar, improving access to energy and resources as well as connecting citizen to vital services, making Gwadar a cleaner and safer place. Our Green Palms Project in Gwadar is the first of its kind and we stand proud of its achievements and its commitment to integrity, excellence and service to the nation.
What is your view on the macro economic situation in Pakistan?
Pakistan as a country is in the phase of a massive transformation. Gwadar and CPEC are going to boost the socio-economic conditions like never before. Gwadar is fast becoming the hub of investment and economic activity in the region, and parallel to it, CPEC is paving the way for a revolution in Pakistan through industrialisation, connectivity, energy production and social exchange. The Government of Pakistan has successfully completed phase-I of CPEC and is on its way towards achievement of major milestones that aim at industrial cooperation, agricultural development and trade promotion. The tourism sector is also expected to expand during this phase. It is a momentous time for the people of Pakistan and a time when challenges and opportunities are expanding in every sector.
CPEC is a game changer for Pakistan. Rafi Group’s views on this mega collaboration.
We, at Rafi Group, believe in the vision laid down by the late Muhammad Rafi Butt who was a key figure in the struggle for Pakistan alongside Quaid-e-Azam, and from this, we derive our commitment to the economic revival of Pakistan. CPEC is the phenomena that will revive the ancient silk route that made the subcontinent the richest region in the world. CPEC is modern yet it derives its strength from history, culture and the value system of the region. Pakistan is going to become a transit trade giant, there will be railways that will directly link Afghanistan, China and Central Asia to Pakistan in a single route. The fruits of such a collaboration are unimaginable. It will bring economic, social as well as technical progress across the region, spreading peace and harmony in the process. CPEC is a major part of the One Belt-One Road project, which is the core initiative of growth for China in the future. CPEC is a project like no other and Rafi Group is committed in playing its part for Gwadar and CPEC to be the agents of change for the whole nation.
You are one of the largest developers in Gwadar. What is the update on Gwadar from a developer’s point of view?
The Government of Pakistan, under the able leadership of Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, has done a tremendous job in streamlining and prioritising Gwadar. The Green Palms Housing Project is the first-of-its-kind initiative by Rafi Group that ensures sustainable infrastructural development, opportunities for investment and quality housing for professionals and the needs of the local people. More than 50 countries have shown their key interest in becoming a part of the CPEC and Gwadar project. Even the
Covid-19 pandemic could not halt the development and progress of Gwadar. The creation of CPEC authority, the launching of 300MW coal power plant and setting up of 19 state-of-the-art factories in Gwadar are a few of the projects that exhibit the potential of Gwadar, which is now ripe for attracting investors from around the world. The Rafi Group has already conducted a number of open houses and also conducted ballots receiving tremendous response from the customers. Pledging the universal principles of loyalty, transparency and quality relationships, Rafi Group ensures that all timelines are met proficiently. The opportunities in Gwadar will grow exponentially and the possibilities are endless.
Please tell us about the Jinnah Rafi Foundation. How did this come about?
The Jinnah Rafi Foundation came into being in 1989 with the same vision that is the legacy of late Muhammad Rafi Butt and his commitment to the idea of Pakistan as a modern Islamic welfare state. The Jinnah Rafi Foundation is a hallmark of the reinvigoration of the Pakistan movement, its ideologies and character, and bringing that message to the masses and the youth in particular. A vast number of research works have been published along with books on the acknowledgement of the Pakistan movement and current issues of the nation. The Jinnah Rafi Foundation is also contributing through non-profit schools that are educating hundreds of deserving children. The Jinnah Rafi Foundation is a key part of Rafi Group that upholds values of social responsibility, patriotism and staying true to the ideological basis of Pakistan.
Any other point you may want to highlight.
Identity, individuality and distinctiveness of nations and citizens are shaped by their history. History itself is carved by visionary leaders. It holds secrets of statecraft as it unravels the principles of governing a nation by identifying its priorities, values as well as moral and political precedence. Without history, there is no culture, without culture there is no civilisation, without civilisation there is no society and with no society there is no future. Thus, prudence demands that we honour our heroes, follow their footsteps and pursue their vision as our own.
Jinnah Rafi Foundation was created to bring to light the sacrifices and contributions of unsung heroes of our freedom struggle such as Rafi Butt, the young vibrant industrialist, who not only established a very successful surgical instruments factory, laid the foundation of first Muslim bank in India, but also helped Quaid-e-Azam in establishing an English Daily. He was selected as a member of the six-member Muslim League Planning Committee and elected to the Lahore Municipal Corporation from the trade and commerce constituency. He provided valuable insight to Quaid-e-Azam through his letters, which have now been published by the JR Foundation. He conducted many foreign tours to Europe and the USA to bring state of the art technology to Pakistan. Rafi Butt died in a tragic air crash on November 26, 1948, rendering an irreparable loss to Pakistan.
The Jinnah Rafi Foundation wishes to keep the legacy of all such unsung heroes alive as inspiration and role models for the youth of Pakistan.
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