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February 5, 2018

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More progress, prosperity if people poll right: PM

CHITRAL: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Sunday said if the people again made a right decision by voting for the PML-N in the 2018 general election, then the country’s march towards progress and prosperity will go on.

He was addressing a gathering after inaugurating 108 megawatts Golen Gol hydropower generation plant at Koghazi here. Abbasi said the people had made the right decision in the 2013 general election by voting for the PML-N, as the federal government had worked hard to overcome the energy crisis and put the country on the path to prosperity.

Member National Assembly (MNA) Shahzada Iftikharuddin, District Nazim Maghfirat Shah, Water and Power Development Authority Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain and others were also present on the occasion. The prime minister said the federal government launched road projects and took steps to revive the failing economy.

Abbasi said the country would develop and more uplift projects would be initiated if the democratic process continued. He said the Lowari Tunnel project was completed at a cost of Rs28 billion to facilitate the people of Chitral to travel to other parts of the country.

The prime minister said surplus electricity from Golen Gol Hydropower Project would be supplied to the parts of country. He maintained that Chitral had a lot of potential for hydropower generation and it could produce more than 50 percent of electricity the country needed. Khaqan Abbasi said Chitral had abundant water resources and these would play an instrumental role in the prosperity of the landlocked district.

Abbasi said funds had been made available for the Gilgit-Chakdarra Road via Chitral, as it was part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. “This highway would reduce the distance between Chitral and Islamabad by half that would be covered in five hours,” the prime minister added.

He said his government believed in serving the people as it completed the Lowari Tunnel and Golen Gol Hydropower project to provide relief to the masses. The premier also appreciated the commitment of MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin and said, "This man is committed to the development of Chitral. He has been raising the issues confronting Chitral at all proper forums."

Later, the prime minister was briefed about the problems being faced by the people of Chitral. MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin thanked the federal government for taking interest in the completion of Lowari Tunnel Project and Golen Gol Hydropower project.

He asked the prime minister that the local people should be provided with electricity from the Golen Gol Hydropower project to stop deforestation in Chitral. He said the National Highway Authority should expedite work on road projects in the district.

The MNA also sought provision of funds to acquire land for establishment of Federal Hospital. District Nazim Maghfirat Shah told the prime minister that the provincial government didn't reconstruct the infrastructure damaged by floods and earthquake in the district in 2015.

He urged the prime minister to provide funds for reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure. Deputy Commissioner Irshad Ali Sodhar told the prime minister in his briefing that Chitral was a unique district that shared its boundaries with Afghanistan, China and Tajikistan.

The deputy commisioner said Chitral could be linked to Tajikistan by building an 18 kilometer tunnel. He said the distance between Khorog Airport in Tajikistan and Chitral Airport could be covered in minutes.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the PML-N president and former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif was interested in the construction of the Tajikistan Road. Abbasi assured the local MNA, district nazim and the deputy commissioner that the problems raised by them would be addressed on priority basis.

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