Pak-China friendship to usher progress in GB, says PM


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday assured lawmakers in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) that the federal government would provide all possible resources for the completion of development projects in the region.

Talking to ministers and members of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) in Gilgit, Sharif said completion of development projects will change destiny of the area’s people. He directed the provincial government to ensure transparency in the projects and regretted that funds were not spent transparently in GB in the past otherwise the situation would have been different today.

The prime minister emphasised that each rupee should be spent with honesty. “There should be no corruption on how funds are being spent.”

Referring to the inauguration of the Attabad Tunnel at the Karakoram Highway, Sharif said this project will create opportunities for growth in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Sharif pointed out that there is lot of potential for tourism in GB, which needs to be explored.

He expressed satisfaction that hundreds of thousands of tourists visited the area this year and encouraged this trend, as it would motivate foreign tourists to visit the beautiful land of Pakistan.

The PM asked the Gilgit-Baltistan government to focus more on the plantation of trees in the area, as it will add to the beauty of GB and attract more tourists. He assured that security force will be deployed on the Karakorum Highway from Gilgit to Mansehra for the safety of commuters and traders.

The prime minister said both the Chinese and Pakistani governments are working hard for speedy completion of China- Pakistan Economic Corridor project. Under this project, work on some power projects has already been started.

Earlier, the PM inaugurated Attabad Tunnel and new realignment of Karakoram Highway.

It has been rebuilt to restore parts of the road that were submerged due to land sliding in January 2010.

The project will facilitate thousands of commuters of the area besides Chinese trade.

Minister for Kashmir Affairs and GB Governor Barjees Tahir, Chief Minister, and Chinese ambassador were present on the occasion.

The National Higwhway Authority (NHA) briefed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the details of the project and status of up-gradation of other parts of Karakorum Highway.

The 24 kilometers long Attabad Karakorum Highway Realignment project has five tunnels having accumulative length of over seven kilometers, sixteen kilometers road and two bridges of one kilometer long.

The project was launched after a big portion of the Karakoram Highway was damaged in 2010 due to land sliding. The project has been completed with the collaboration of China.