APP54-30 QUETTA: May 30 - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressing during the inauguration ceremony of newly renovated and extended International Airport. APP photo by Mohsin Naseer

QUETTA, May 30 (APP):Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Wednesday said the western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor and Gwadar Port would soon turn Balochistan province into a trade and energy hub.
Addressing a gathering, after inaugurating expansion and renovation of Quetta international airport, he said the progress and development of Balochistan province was linked with the development of rest of the country.
He said peace in Balochistan had been restored and urged the provincial government and the provincial political leadership to work together for development and progress of the province.
He said the western corridor and the Gwadar seaport would provide an easy access to the Central Asian countries and China. Pakistan would provide easy access with immense opportunities of connectivity through a huge maze of motorways and highways.
Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai, Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Anusha Rehman were also present during the ceremony.
The prime minister urged the provincial and political leadership to set aside their political differences and work for the province and meet the challenges.
He assured federal government’s support but maintained that it was the provincial leadership which should take the lead for the progress and development of the province by concentrating on the availability of huge natural resources and connectivity potentials.
He said work on Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project was being fast tracked whereas efforts were also being made for the rail, road and IT connectivity.
About the expansion of the airport at a cost of about Rs 2 billion, the prime minister said it was the long standing demand of the province, which was met by the PML-N government.
He said the international airport would cater to the requirements of the passengers with provision of allied facilities.
Even the Boeing 777 aircraft could land on the Quetta airport and it would serve in the development of Balochistan, he added.
The prime minister said when the PML-N government took charge of the government, it had decided to expand and renovate all the airports of the country.
He referred to completion of Islamabad International Airport where the completion work had hit snags during the last 12 years.
Moreover, the Multan and Peshawar airports were also renovated and expanded, he added.
He noted that expansion work of Sialkot airport was carried out by the private sector from where now regular flights were being operated. The Karachi airport was also being modernized by the government, he added.
He said it was only the PML-N government which not only initiated different uplift projects throughout the country but also completed them.
He expressed the hope that the upcoming governments would carry forward those development projects.
He also underlined the importance of continuity in the democratic system by saying on July 25, general election would be held in which the people would give their decision.
“The country cannot achieve progress without democratic system,” he said, stressing that only the elected representative governments had the capacity to deliver.
Under the renovation and expansion plan, the airport has the state-of-the-art passengers boarding bridges, check-in counters, baggage handling system, modern immigration system and two arrival and departure terminals equipped with the latest facilities.
The numbers of domestic check-in counters have been enhanced from 5 to 12 whereas the airport would have now 12 international counters as well.
The passengers’ capacity in the international and domestic departure lounge has been increased by three per cent.