Edgy Prime Minister equates terrorists with sit-inners

WEB DESK: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday related terrorists with those pursuing the politics of agitation and said the nation has rejected the agenda of all those who were against Pakistan’s development and progress.

Addressing a large gathering here after performing the ground-breaking of the Rs 294 billion Sukkur-Multan Motorway, the Prime Minister said the nation wants an end to poverty, unemployment, lack of health, education and other social sector problems.

“We will continue to serve the masses selflessly with the same vigour, zeal and commitment,” he said and added “Pakistan would soon be part of the global economic powers.”

The Prime Minister said the politics of sit-ins has severely hindered the country’s progress and prosperity. He regretted that the country lost a precious year due to the sit-ins.

He said the agenda of terrorists was to create disruption, chaos, law and order situation and push Pakistan back to the dark ages.“A similar objective was being pursued by those who stage sit-ins, cause agitation and hinder country’s march ahead.”

“They wish to sabotage and divert attention of the government from development. The people of Pakistan have given us their mandate and with Allah’s help, we will complete our tenure,” he said.

The Prime Minister said he wished that Leader of Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah was here at this grand event. “We are building a bridge in your area, while you are demanding my resignation,” he said. 
He said the Opposition Leader must understand the agenda and should not side with those who were against country’s progress and development. The Prime Minister asked the crowd whether the situation in the country has improved over the past three years or not, to which the gathering of the PML-N workers responded with enthusiasm.

He also questioned whether they saw improvement in situation in Karachi, law and order across the country, national economy, terrorism and other areas, to which the large crowd acknowledged again with a resounding applause.

He said former President Pervez Musharraf tried his level best to dig out corruption of even a single penny against the Sharifs, but failed to find any.

Nawaz Sharif said Transparency International also endorsed this. Similarly, other international agencies also spoke of improving economic indicators, lower corruption, increased productivity, he added.

The Prime Minister said today the loadshedding of electricity is considerably down and there is more availability of natural gas. He said the electricity tariffs is now 30 percent down, new industries are being set up and a lots of economic activity being generated.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he is not afraid of anyone. According to him, he did his best to strengthen country’s defence. He added that had they feared anyone, they would not have conducted nuclear tests.

The Prime Minister who earlier performed the groundbreaking of the Motorway said it would form part of the multi-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He specifically mentioned the role of China in Pakistan’s prosperity and said with the US 46 billion dollar projects, the country would soon be amongst the list of developed countries.

The Prime Minister said his dream of connecting the entire country with a robust linkage of roads, motorways and expressways is about to come true. He said the CPEC project would link China’s Kashgar with Gwadar, but the sections of motorways would also connect it to Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics.

He said the region, comprising three billion population in China, SAARC, Central Asian, is almost equal to the population in rest of the world and said the people here have a bright future.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he had envisioned the project of regional connectivity in 1990s, however, all his plans were shattered due to the situation in 1999. He said had he continued with his ambitious plans, things today would have been different altogether.

He recalled the recent groundbreaking of the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway and said work on the 296-km long Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway would start soon. He said 393-km long Sukkur-Multan would be a six-lane motorway, comprising ten rest areas with a far better quality than the existing roads. He said the new motorway would provide connectivity and speedy travel across the country.

The Prime Minister also announced construction of the 125-year-old Sukkur barrage bridge and said the new bridge would be built at a cost of Rs 6.5 billion and said work on the project would start this year. He said the old bridge would be preserved as a national heritage.

Acting Ambassador of China Zhao Lijian said Peshawar-Karachi Motorway (PKM) and Korakorum Highway (KKH) – the two big projects under CPEC – are the most significant co-operation between the governments of Pakistan and China.

He mentioned that the Multan-Sukkur section is the most difficult section of PKM, owing to traffic density and population. He said the Chinese government decided to offer soft loan for building this section.

Zhao Lijian said the project being the largest under the CPEC will be undertaken by the China Construction Company, which is the largest trans-national company in the world completing 1500 projects globally. The company is also building the terminal of Islamabad’s new airport, he said.

Federal Secretary Ministry of Communications Khalid Masood Chaudhry said the Karachi-Lahore motorway is being constructed by National Highway Authority (NHA) on a priority basis as per the directives of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

He highlighted the importance of the M5 which he said would be the fastest road link between Sindh and Punjab. He mentioned that the six-lane motorway passing through Multan-Jalalpur Peerwala Ahmedpur East, Ubaro, Pano Aqil will terminate at Sukkur with a total of 54 bridges to be constructed including one major bridge at the river Sutlej.

Twelve service areas, 10 rest areas, 11 interchanges, 10 fly-overs and 426 underpasses will also be included in this project, he said.

He said the Karachi-Lahore section of the PKM had been divided into four sections including 136-km Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway, 296-km Hyderabad-Sukkur Motorway, 387-km Sukkur-Multan Motorway and 333-km Multan-Lahore Motorway. Senator Nehal Hashmi and President PML-N Sindh Ismael Rahu also spoke on the occasion. – APP