Shehbaz deplored that the politics of dharnas caused damage to the country
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said that, unfortunately, the outgoing prime minister in his three and a half year tenure could not spare time to visit vital development projects but got sufficient time to push the opposition to the wall.
“Imran Khan had enough time to push the opposition to the wall, create divisions in the society and use abusive language against opponents but had no time to control price hike, poverty, unemployment and visit mega projects,” Shehbaz said while addressing engineers and workers at the under-construction Karot Hydropower project.
He said during his visit, he met Pakistani and Chinese engineers and workers who assured him that the project would be completed soon and 720 MW of electricity generated from hydropower would be available to the national grid.
He recalled that in 2014, the PTI did not accept a request of the-then government to call off their sit-in, which resulted in postponing of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan. “Now you are again staging a sit-in and what do you want to achieve from it?” he questioned and added that the government would foil their sit-ins.
He deplored that politics of dharnas caused damage to the country.He pointed out that hydropower was economical and with the passage of time and repayment of loan, its cost gradually came down to Rs3 per unit and there was no issue of pollution and negative impact on the climate. He said he talked to the head of the Three Gorges Company of China, who agreed to provide free-of-cost 720 MW of electricity to the national grid with the operation of four turbines till the Commercial Operation Day and it would be unprecedented. “It will help save Rs3.9 billion and the saving can be Rs9 billion if there is a thermal power project,” he said, adding that it was due to the Pak-China friendship, which was higher than the Himalayas and sweeter than honey.
He pointed out that the last government had laid landmines for the incumbent government by not increasing the prices of petroleum products despite high prices in the international market. “We have also not shifted the burden to the masses and are holding negotiations with the IMF on terms which the PTI government agreed to but could not fulfill. We should work hard for progress instead of poisoning and will have to bury politics of abuses and indecency to achieve our objectives.”
He said Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir would save Rs1.2 billion from water charge of this project annually, adding that 10 to 12 per cent of it would be spent on the welfare of people displaced by the project for the next 30 years. He thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping, PMLN Quaid Nawaz Sharif and the chairman of the Three Gorges Company, which was executing the project.