–Abbasi says political leaders ‘cheating’ people in name of new provinces
—PM inaugurates Multan-Shujabad section of Sukkur-Multan Motorway
MULTAN: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday said there was a need for a national dialogue to evolve consensus over the establishment of new provinces and that the issue shouldn’t be used for mere political point scoring.
Addressing a public gathering after inaugurating Multan-Shujabad section of Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the prime minister said many other countries had also created new provinces, and this is possible in Pakistan as well.
Those who have been calling for a south Punjab province were part of Pervez Musharraf’s government when new province could have been created within no time, the PM said while taking a jibe at his rivals.
He said these people are just cheating the people [in the name of new province] and challenged them to prove their performance during their respective tenures with that of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) government.
He said the incumbent government delivered even beyond its commitments and besides its own projects, the ruling PML-N also completed the unfinished projects of the previous governments which had been lingering for decades. He said the previous governments too had same resources but failed to deliver.
During last five years, numerous attempts were made to destabilise the government but it remained undeterred and kept up its course, the PM said, adding that the government was even threatened of umpire’s finger but it kept up its course of national development.
He advised the people to use their vote to elect a deserving party in the upcoming general election in July this year else they would have to repent for the next five years.
Abbasi criticised former presidents General (r) Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari over lack of development work in the country during their tenures.
“No work was done in Shujaabad during Musharraf’s 10-year rule,” the PM said, adding: “Musharraf started working on two to four projects but completed none while Zardari initiated no projects.”
He said despite a severe shortage of water in reservoirs, the government was ensuring the provision of an uninterrupted power supply, particularly during Sehr and Iftar timings. He said the power plants, being installed by the government, would meet the power needs of the country for the next 20 years.
He said after completion of the motorway, the people from Shujabad would be able to reach Lahore within 2.5 hours and Karachi within seven to eight hours. He said the credit for completion of Lowari Tunnel project also goes to the present government that had been lingering on for the past 45 years.
PAK-CHINA FRIENDSHIP PAYING OFF:
Following the inauguration of the project, the prime minister also addressed a gathering of Chinese and Pakistani engineers at Multan-Shujabad Interchange in Shujabad.
He said the newly inaugurated motorway project is yet another symbol of Pakistan-China cooperation and a testimony to the fact the shared vision of greater economic activity in the region was turning into a reality.
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing and officials of National Highway Authority (NHA) were also present.
Earlier in the day, PM Abbasi unveiled the plaque of the project what he said had been completed a year ahead of schedule. He was accompanied by Governor Punjab Muhammad Rafiq Rajwana and Minister for Water Resources Javed Ali Shah.
The Sukkur-Multan Motorway is part of Karachi-Lahore Motorway Project and is being constructed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that would cost Rs 294 billion.
Work on the motorway was started in 2016 and is scheduled to complete by 2019. It is a 6-lane access controlled facility, taking off from Sukkur and terminating at Multan, after passing through several major cities including Ghotki, Rahim Yar Khan, Sadiqabad and Bahawalpur.