ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said with an overall allocation of Rs 1750 billion over the last five years for the construction of roads, highways, bridges and motorways across the country, the PML-N government completed 35 projects worth Rs 498 billion initiated after 2013.
Addressing a news conference here at the PM Office, he said 25 connectivity projects of 1460 km length costing Rs. 445 billion were ongoing including the important 164 km Jaglot-Skardu road which would connect Skardu with Karakorum Highway.
Similarly, he said, 21 major projects of 3200 km length costing Rs. 800 billion was in the planning and procurement stage.
“The length of roads, highways, bridges and motorways projects initiated and completed across the country during the PML-N government’s five-year tenure since 2013 is 2,813 kilometres,” the Prime Minister said.
He said since connectivity was considered a major force behind economic development in any country, the government not only initiated and completed the new projects but also focused on the completion of long-delayed projects like Lowari Tunnel, Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Highway, Lyari Express Way etc.
The Prime Minister said the completion of all ongoing and planned projects including those which were part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would ensure connectivity of the country from within and with the neighbouring countries.
To a question he said with maximum work done in Balochistan the construction of roads, highways and motorways were being carried out in all the provinces and areas of the country.
To another question, the Prime Minister said, since the PML-N government had already created a “New Pakistan”, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) should find other ways to attract the masses’ attention. “Today’s Pakistan is much better than that we inherited in 2013,” he maintained.
He said since the PML-N government had set a direction, it was the next government which would be making decisions on the new and ongoing projects which had critical importance in the country’s economic development.
Responding to a question the Prime Minister expressed his confidence that the general election would be held on July 25, adding, as per the Constitution the Election Commission of Pakistan was bound to hold the general election within 60 days after the end of current National Assembly’s tenure on May 31.
Asked about the appointment of Ali Jahangir Siddiqui as Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington, the Prime Minister said Siddiqui was neither his relative nor a business partner, adding, the decision was taken in the country’s interest and keeping in view of current state of relations with the US.
In response to a question, the Prime Minister reiterated that the notification about three-month honorarium for federal government employees was misreported and misinterpreted as it was only meant for the employees of federal secretariat engaged in the budget-making process.