DI KHAN: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took a jab at his political arch-nemesis Imran Khan on Tuesday, saying how his PTI could make a ‘Naya Pakistan’ while it could not make a ‘Naya Pakhtunkhwa’, the province where it is in power.
“I’m not here to merely talk big. I’m here for real development work,” he said while addressing a public gathering at the Ratha Kulachi Stadium in DI Khan. He was visiting the city at the invitation of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of his eponymous faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.
“There is no sign of development in K-P. The party in power here only stages Dharnas, while we believe in development work,” he added. “Can you recall when he [Imran] promised the people in Bannu real change,” the premier asked the audience. “No,” was the reply from hundreds of cheering supporters.
He asked how Imran would make his promised ‘Naya Pakistan’ when he failed to make a ‘Naya Pakhtunkhwa’. “The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz won the recent by-election in Peshawar. You should be worried that in the 2018 elections, you will be out of K-P,” he said while directly addressing the PTI.
Nawaz said if Metro bus service could be started in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore why it could not be launched in Peshawar.
The prime minister announced and inaugurated several development projects for the region. He announced establishment of an agriculture university in DI Khan and promised funds for supply of Sui gas to DI Khan and Tank. He also announced construction of Chashma Right Bank Canal. He said the federal government would give 65% of funds while the K-P administration would contribute the rest.
He also directed the Civil Aviation Authority to resume flights from DI Khan airport. It will be an international airport from where people will go to other cities and countries,” he said. The premier also announced funds for the feasibility report of Tank Zam Dam.
Premier Nawaz inaugurated the first phase of the western route of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Yarik DI Khan to Rehmani Khel (55-kilometre-long expressway) that would expedite pace of development in the southern districts of K-P.
The secretary communication, in his briefing, told the prime minister that this project would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs2 billion in two years. This expressway would pass from Rehmankhel to Pindi Gaib onward to Burhan. The first phase of CPEC western route would be completed in five parts. The inauguration of western route has squashed all the rumours and concerns of some elements.
The prime minister pledged that the chronic power outages would end in 2018. “We will not only end load shedding but will make electricity cheap for the public.
Speaking on the occasion, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman defended the government in its ongoing row with the opposition over Panama leaks claims that the Sharif family has offshore holdings. “The opposition has the right to criticize and differ – but not in a way that might endanger democracy,” he said.
“We are supporting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to safeguard democracy. If the democratic system is derailed, then we all will regret,” he added. “Those ignorant of political language wish to take over politics, but we will not allow this to happen in Pakistan,” he said in a pointed reference to the PTI.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2016.
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