QUETTA: Since the country’s future is closely linked to development in Balochistan, the government is determined to bring progress to the province, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Sorab-Hoshab highway in Turbat, he said: “A new Pakistan is in the making. A developed Balochistan means a new Pakistan.’’
Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai, Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, former chief minister Dr Malik Baloch, Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Aamir Riaz, Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattah and Makran division Commissioner Bashir Ahmed Bangulzai were among those present at the ceremony.
The Turbat-Hoshab-Sorab section of the road was built at an estimated cost of Rs22 billion in just over two years. The prime minister announced construction of two more roads — one of them would link Hoshab to Bela via Awaran and the other would connect Panjgur to Prom.
Criticises rivals for trying to sabotage uplift projects
The Hoshab-Awaran-Bela road will be a joint venture of the federal and Balochistan governments, while the 40km-long Panjgur-Prom road will be built by the Frontier Works Organisation.
Criticising some political leaders for creating hurdles in the way of development, Prime Minister Sharif said: “While our enemies are trying to sabotage our projects, people can now decide for themselves as to who is serving the country and who is just inciting hate and playing with emotions.
“Pakistanis are a cultured nation and have great moral values. Those who ruin the norms are responsible for spoiling generations and history calls them a disgrace to their ancestors.”
Mr Sharif said a number of development projects were under way in Balochistan, expressing the hope that on completion these projects would transform the quality of life in the province.
“Development of Balochistan is not a favour; it is the right of the Baloch people,” he added.
Referring to the road network in Makran, he said the road would connect the Gwadar port with China and generate job opportunities. “This will help fight poverty and unemployment in the province.”
The premier said completion of every road in Balochistan would contribute to improving the infrastructure.
Mr Sharif praised the workers and personnel of FWO who lost their lives during the construction of Turbat-Hoshab-Sorab road, adding that their sacrifices would be remembered forever.
Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri thanked PM Nawaz Sharif for making the uplift of the province a priority. “The development of Balochistan is a part of the PML-N’s manifesto,” he added.
Lt Gen Mohammad Afzal, the Frontier Works director general, said the Sorab-Hoshab road project was a manifestation of the determination of the federal and Balochistan governments, the FWO, the National Highway Authority (NHA) and the local administration.
Outlining the project’s salient features, the FWO chief said although work had started way back in Sept 2007, shortage of funds and deterioration in the law and order situation kept the project in abeyance for seven years. Work resumed only in 2014.
The deadline was revised from five years and six months to two years and three months.
Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2016