- Shehbaz Sharif says load-shedding will be overcome within a year
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said on Saturday that the government would continue its journey of national development.
He was addressing the inauguration ceremony of Greater Iqbal Park. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and MNA Hamza Shahbaz were also present.
“Today we feel blessed to have the opportunity to execute the dream of Allama Muhammad Iqbal. The government has tackled all three major challenges of terrorism, economic revival and deliverance from the energy crisis,” he said.
The prime minister said the record development projects were being executed in Balochistan including a vast network of roads to link the province with rest of the country as well as Central Asia and China.
He said motorway network that could not move ahead from Lahore since 1998, was now being expanded up to Karachi as work on its various sections was underway.
He asked Punjab government to install more lights in and around the park to illuminate the area to attract more people there even at night.
The prime minister said a clear warning should be displayed outside the park that the facility was not for holding sit-ins as they continue searching for such a site.
He reiterated his government’s resolve to overcome load shedding within its tenure what he believed would boost country’s industry, agriculture, exports, the stock market, foreign exchange reserves and ultimately create ample employment opportunities.
He said as immense development activities were going in Balochistan, the miscreants were unable to find any rationale to disrupt peace in the province.
Referring to recent inauguration of Sorab-Hoshab Road, the prime minister said with the construction of new roads, the Quetta- Gwadar travel distance had been reduced from 48 to 8 hours.
He said the expansion of road network was essential component his development agenda as, without highways and motorways, the development could not be taken to the remote areas. The roads would also bring the people closer to one and other, he said.
He expressed the resolve that Gwadar would be developed as a modern city and Gwadar Port at par with other free ports in the world.
He said the government was spending around $7 billion for up gradation of railways that would double its speed. The power projects were being executed with a swift pace that was also being hailed by China, he said.
“Besides road network, both the federal and Punjab governments were striving to build hospitals even in small towns,” he said.
In his address, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the park had summed up the country’s culture and history represented by food courts, thematic doors, buggy, golf carts and decorated with multiple indigenous species of flowers and trees.
He said the park would be run by an independent authority, under the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), to ensure cleanliness and maintenance of the facility. The food courts at the park would also be ensured to serve hygienic food at par with the international standards, he said. He said the park was directly linked with the safe city control room to monitor the activities in the park and avert any untoward incident.
The CM also criticised his political opponents. According to a private TV channel, he said that protesters aimed to obstruct the progress of the country. He went on to claim that he never took a U-turn from the promises he had made. He said that the country’s relations with Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Iran had been strengthened. “The dark period is coming to an end and there will be plenty of electricity by the end of 2016,” he said. He promised that the load shedding crisis would end by next year.
PHA Director General Shakeel Ahmed said the project cost Rs 1,186 million and had been executed by the PHA within 13 months.