SPINWAM, North Waziristan, March 3 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday said it was high time for all to shun political rivalries and focus energies on eliminating poverty and illiteracy from the country.
“It is need of the hour to refrain from negative politics and get united in the interest of Pakistan,” he said during his address at the ground-breaking of Kurram Tungi Dam here.
The prime minister said unity among the nation could help overcome difficult challenges and make the country economically strong.
“History will be inscribed with the fact whether someone made positive or negative contribution for the country,” he said, adding, “When it comes to Pakistan’s interest, all need to stand by each other.”
Nawaz Sharif said even terrorism, being the toughest of challenges, was addressed with the unity of nation and consensus of all political forces and military.
“Now we have to stay united for the prosperity of country after defeating the menace of terrorism,” he said.
He mentioned that the people of North Waziristan and armed forces rendered immense sacrifices in elimination of terrorists, which ultimately led to peace in the area.
“After an era of horror and fright, a new dawn of love and peace has marked the North Waziristan,” he said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said development of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) was the government’s priority, adding process of including FATA in national mainstream would be initiated soon after proper legislation.
He said FATA would also get its due share in National Finance Commission Award.
He said all the provinces and federal government would fulfill their responsibilities for the uplift of FATA.
He said the project of Kurram Tungi Dam in North Waziristan was an important milestone in development of FATA.
The project would be completed at a cost of Rs 123 billion, out of which Rs 81 billion would be provided by the United States government through USAID and the rest, Rs 16 billion, by Pakistan government, he added.
The prime minister said the government was pursuing an effective agriculture and water management policy and building dams even on small rivers.
He regretted that previous governments ignored this key sector and no large dam was built after Tarbela during last 40 years.
He said his government took solid steps for carrying out dam related projects including Diamer Bhasha, Neelum Jhelum, Dasu and Bunji.
Nawaz Sharif said he had directed the authorities concerned to speed up the electricity generation projects and added, “Power loadshedding will soon become a tale of past.”
He said Pakistan was a resource rich country and it could make revolutionary progress provided the judicious and prudent utilization of resources.
“We can make our destiny ourselves and I believe that a magnificent future is awaiting us,” he said. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said as the construction work on Chashma Right Bank Canal was also being initiated soon, this project would bring about a revolutionary change in this area by irrigating thousands of acres of barren land.
He said the irrigation of lands would help generate ample resources for the country, develop every sector of economy, expand industrial activities, encourage the import of industrial equipment and machinery, augment exports, enhance the inflows of foreign exchange and check inflation.
The prime minister said inflation had already come down as compared to previous governments.
He said with 12 to 16 hours of electricity loadshedding, there was
darkness in the country in previous years, adding, in such a scenario no one could imagine of achieving any socio-economic progress and industrial development.
Now due to the present government’s efforts not only the duration of loadshedding had come down to three to four hours for domestic consumers, but industries were being supplied electricity round the clock, he added.
Moreover, the prime minister said electricity was being provided at cheaper rates, so that growers and industrialists could compete and have better returns of their produce.
He said various power projects of thousands of mega watts were being installed and completed at a fast pace under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, including coal and LNG based and solar and wind
He said now for the first time, coal from Thar, Sindh, would be utilized for power projects. Why it did not happen in the past, he questioned.
Similarly, Nawaz Sharif said Neelum Jhelum project was lingering on for the last ten years, which augmented the cost of the project many fold.
But now the work on that project was underway on a fast pace and it
would add 960 MW of electricity to the national grid by February 2018, he added.
The delay on such projects of national importance was very unfortunate, as precious time and public money was wasted, he remarked.Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said now with a network of roads, highways and motorways being constructed across the country from Peshawar to Karachi, Gwadar to Khunjrab, FATA, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan (GB), the wheel of progress was moving fast.
He said all the political forces and provinces should join hands and make joint efforts for the development of FATA, AJK and GB.
He also referred to Kachhi Canal Project in Balochistan and said it would irrigate 72,000 acres of land.
“Revolution is coming throughout Pakistan,” he added.
The prime minister said his government had initiated Lahore-
Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway Project in 1991. Had this concept continued, Pakistan would have been the Asian Tiger today.
However, he said his government after coming to power in 2013 again started work on motorways and after the completion of various sections, now the work was underway on Karachi-Hyderabad and Multan-Sukkur sections of Peshawar-Karachi Motorway.
He said under the CPEC project motorway was being constructed from Mirpur to Muzaffarabad, which would be linked to Mansehra and Khunjrab.
He said tunnels worth billions of rupees were constructed to link Khunjrab with rest of the country.
The prime minister said his government had provided Rs 25 billion for Lowari Tunnel Project at Chakdara-Chitral Road, which was lingering on for the last 50 years.
This project would now be completed after four months.
Recalling his government achievements, he said making tall claims was
very easy but to translate the dreams into reality needed practical steps.
Similarly, he said Golen Gol Hydropower Project in Chitral would generate 106 MW electricity, which would change the fate of that area through enhanced industrial and agricultural activities.
The present government had pumped in unprecedented over Rs 1,000 billion for road projects across the country, the prime minister said.