- PTI, PML-N workers clash, pelt each other with stones outside venue of public meeting
Although Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a number of development projects for the well being of masses in Kohat on Friday with great fanfare, his visit was clouded by the protest of charged PTI workers.
PTI activists reportedly staged a protest against the arrest of party workers and supporters across the country upon the arrival of Prime Minister Sharif in Kohat.
The prime minister, while addressing a public gathering at the Qila Ground, said his government’s consistent journey of economic stability and development had panicked the opposition, which had sensed its political demise in the 2018 general elections.
“Pakistan is about to become a developed state and the same is worrying the Opposition, knowing that its politics will meet its end if the government’s successful journey continues uninterrupted till 2018,” averred the premier.
The prime minister, who arrived here on a day-long visit to lay foundation-stone of a project of gas provision, said the people had realised that which political party had in fact taken steps for their prosperity.
“By the grace of Allah, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz will come into power in the next general elections and will continue its agenda of serving the masses,” he said.
Sharif said the provincial government of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa which had always claimed to ‘bring a change’ never focused its energies on the uplift of the province.
“In my view, there should be a ‘change’ in KP and we are going to bring that real change based on development,” he said.
The prime minister announced a development package for Kohat, including projects of gas provision, highways and roads, a hospital, railway service and a university’s campus for women. He also performed the ground-breaking of a gas project worth Rs 3.9 billion which would benefit locals of Kohat, Khushal Garh, Shairkot, Alizai, Nusrat Pur, Dhoda and Chorluki.
The premier said that the highway to be constructed from Kohat, Jand and Pindi Ghaib would link motorway, reducing distance up to Islamabad and Peshawar. Also, Kohat-Karak-Sarai Gambela Road would be expanded and linked to motorway, he added.
Sharif also mentioned that the National Highways Authority chairman had been directed in this regard and the construction would start soon.
The prime minister announced to set-up a state-of-the-art hospital in Kohat where poor patients would be treated free of cost. He also announced setting up a women campus of Kohat University in the city.
The premier said a rail car service would be initiated on experimental basis from Rawalpindi to Kohat and vice-versa.
He also announced a grant of Rs 200 million and Rs 100 million for Kohat’s district and tehsil councils, respectively.
Sharif said no government in the past ever considered launching these development projects for the people of Kohat.
He said the country today was making rapid progress and mentioned that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would usher in an era of prosperity in the country.
The premier also vowed to completely end power load shedding by 2018.
He said that terrorist incidents in the country had reduced to a large extent for which he paid tribute to sacrifices of personnel of armed forces, police, administration and the nation.
He said that efforts were in progress for the rehabilitation of displaced persons of the North Waziristan military operation.
Sharif said the world was acknowledging the economic turnaround of Pakistan, adding that the recent appreciation by the head of International Monetary Fund (IMF) was a compliment for the country.
Earlier, PTI activists staged a protest against the arrest of party workers and supporters upon the arrival of Prime Minister Sharif in Kohat.
According to details, PTI activists were chanting slogans such as “go Nawaz go” outside the public meeting venue. This prompted PML-N activists to stage a counter-demo and chant slogans against PTI chief Imran Khan. Both the sides also pelted each other with stones. Police had to fire teargas shells and use batons to disperse them.