Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has vowed not to let anyone sabotage his government’s agenda of development and warned his political opponents of a backlash from the masses.
“I want to tell those who create hurdles in the way of development that the masses will throw them out,” the premier said on Thursday while addressing a large public gathering in Dhodial.
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On his latest mission to garner public support amid the Panama leaks controversy, the prime minister travelled to Mansehra district to perform the groundbreaking of Havelian-Thakot section of the Hazara Motorway.
PM Nawaz while talking to media later also ruled out any talks over the Panama leaks commission, saying a letter has been written to the Supreme Court to start investigations. Everything has been included in the terms of reference for the judicial probe and there is nothing more to talk about.
According to Express News, he said the opposition instead of suggesting any tangible proposals was involved in mudslinging and they could not be listened to. Speaking in the ground of Hazara University, which was closed down for his security, PM Nawaz advised his foes to think twice before taking any steps against him, as the masses would not tolerate hurdles in the way of development.
“Ours is an agenda of development, prosperity and betterment of masses, and elimination of unemployment. Not that of Dharnas,” he said while referring to Imran Khan.
He said the PML-N did not believe in “mere slogans” but actions as evident by all the mega projects in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, including the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway, initiated by his party since 1990 to date.
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“Where is the new Pakistan? Who is making the new Pakistan?” Nawaz questioned, saying the PML-N was launching development projects in K-P despite not having its own government.
The premier said he had rejected OGRA’s proposal for increasing petroleum prices although the country would suffer a loss of Rs8 billion. “The government is ready to sacrifice trillions for the welfare of my people,” he reiterated.
PM Nawaz also unveiled a number of developmental projects for Mansehra, Abbottabad and Torghar including a 12-inch-diameter pipeline for supplying natural gas to the people of Oghai, Pakhal, Tanawal and Balakot. The pipeline would be extended up to Kaghan and Naran to discourage deforestation.
He announced Rs1 billion in grants for Hazara University in addition to the amount of Rs660 million granted by the federal government earlier. He also doubled the laptop quota for students of Hazara division.
The premier announced a Rs200-million grant for the purchase of land for graveyard in Mansehra and surrounding areas and another Rs 200million for electrification in Kala Dhaka. He also directed the authorities to reconstruct all schools, roads and health units damaged in the 2005 earthquake.
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K-P Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Federal Minister Sardar Muhammad Yusuf, Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, NA Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi were also among those who spoke at the gathering.
Meanwhile, students of different departments of Hazara University staged protests against the government and the varsity administration on the arrival of the PM.
Sources told The Express Tribune the students living in hostels were upset after being forced to leave their rooms as part of security arrangements for the premier’s visit. The administration even postponed the midterm exams for two days.
K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak also expressed his displeasure with the university vice-chancellor for closing down the varsity for the prime minister’s visit, terming it “against rules and norms”.
CM’s Special Assistant on Higher Education and Public affairs Mushtaq Ghani told The Express Tribune the university administration was pressured to close down its premises.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2016.