SHUJABAAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Saturday that a broad national consensus is needed for creating new provinces in the country.
“The opponents spent entire five years in slandering the government and now as the polls are near, they have just remembered South Punjab province,” the premier said while addressing an inaugural ceremony of the Multan-Shujaabad section of Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5).
PM Abbasi said that those who are now standing for the demand of new provinces were sitting with former president General (retd) Pervaiz Musharraf during his tenure. “Why couldn’t they make new provinces then,” he said.
“At one side is the politics of development and sincerity, on the other there is of slander, propaganda, and allegations,” said the premier.
PM Abbasi criticised former presidents General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari over a lack of development work in the country during their tenures.
“No work was done in Shujaabad during Musharraf’s 10-year rule,” the premier said.
The premier added, “Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) completed development projects and continued to work despite tough times. Our government did not only announce development projects but completed them.”
“No one can gauge the intensity of challenges faced by the PML-N government,” he asserted.
PM Abbasi further said, “We [PML-N] completed projects that were on hold since decades and we also had the same resources as the governments before us.”
“We generated an additional 10,400MW of electricity in the last five years and Musharraf and Zardari did not even start one power project,” the premier upheld.
“Could all the work we did not be done by previous governments,” he asked.
The premier added, “PML-N has done in the last five years what was not done in Pakistan in the last 65 years.”
“The party did not only work for Pakistan’s today but its future.”
“The decision is not difficult as on one hand there is a party who only hurls abuses and points fingers at others while on the other it is the PML-N which serves people,” he added.
Multan-Shujaabad section of M-5
The opening of the motorway section will facilitate fast and easy communication between Multan and Shujabad, according to a press release issued earlier today.
The Sukkur-Multan Motorway is part of Karachi-Lahore Motorway Project and is being constructed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is 394km long and will cost around Rs294 billion.
Work on the motorway was started in 2016 and is scheduled to complete by 2019. It is a 6-lane access controlled facility, taking off from Sukkur and terminating at Multan, after passing through several major cities including Ghotki, Rahim Yar Khan, Sadiqabad and Bahawalpur. The alignment traverses through the provinces of Sindh and Punjab. The project includes construction of several bridges, interchanges, culverts, underpasses and other allied structures as well as service areas.
PM inaugurates Shaheed Benazir Bhutto bridge
Later during the day, the premier also inaugurated the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto bridge over River Ravi.
The bridge provides an important communication link across the Indus River between the cities of Zahirpur on GT Road (N-5) and Indus Highway (N-55) via Mithankot. There is no river crossing on Indus up to Ghazighat, which is approximately 50km downstream of Taunsa Barrage. Dera Ghazi Khan is located approximately 120 km upstream of this bridge.
The bridge will greatly facilitate the traffic from Karachi, Kashmore etc on the Western side and Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, Faisalabad and Lahore on the Eastern side, being a short route from Karachi to Lahore. It was an age-old demand of the people and will boost the economic growth of areas on both sides of the river, besides reducing distance and time of travel.
The bridge is 1.2km long with 12.2m width. Approach roads including 14km towards Zahirpur on N-5 and 16km towards Mithankot and N-55 have also been constructed.