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May 24, 2018

PML-N govt has fulfilled all pledges: PM

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May 24, 2018

PESHWAR/JAMRUD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government fulfilled the pledges it had made with the people during its election campaign.

"We have overcome the energy crisis in the country and eliminated loadshedding. We produced surplus electricity for 11 months," he said while addressing a ceremony that marked opening of the expanded and renovated Bacha Khan International Airport, Peshawar.

The premier said the federal government developed a network of motorways in the country and established new ones and expanded and renovated the existing airports in the country. "We honoured the pledged former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had made with the people and I am inaugurating the projects launched by the PML-N Quaid on weekly basis," he added.

Khaqan Abbasi said that various projects were lying incomplete but the Adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation Mehtab Ahmad Khan took the responsibility and you can see the results. "The completion of the Phase-I of the expansion of the Peshawar Airport has been completed and international standard facilities have been provided to the domestic and international passengers at the facility," he asserted.

The premier added that he was aware of the hardships the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) faced during the expansionproject. "It has been a great achievement that the CAA completed the project despite all these challenges," he added. "I congratulate the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas on the completion of the expansion work who would get improved facilities after execution of this project," he went on to say.

The premier said that the airport was in a shambles and needed immediate attention of the government to carry out the much-needed uplift work and provide standard facilitate to the people. "Establishing a new airport is not difficult but expanding an existing one is a very challenging job," he added. He said the expansion work would not only be enough to meet the present day requirements but would also cater to the need of the passengers for the years to come.

"In between the 60-70s I used to study in a school situated at a few yards distance from this airport but I did not notice or witness any development work carried out here till the 90s," he recalled.

He also said that state-of-the-art airport was inaugurated in Islamabad, Faisalabad Airport was expanded, expansion work was also carried out in a private airport in Sialkot, development work on an airport launched by the previous Pakistan People's Party (PPP)-led federal government was completed in Multan, work on airport would be launched in Lahore in the coming days while the design of an international standard airport in Gwadar in Balochistan had been prepared and work on it would be launched soon.

The ground breaking of an airport in Quetta would be performed the next week," he added. He said the economy and development of a country was judged from its air transport services and that was why improvement in this sector was among the top priorities of the PML-N government. "We were determined to bring about revolution in the transport sector. A six-lane 1,700 kilometer motorway is being developed in the country. The people would travel on motorway from Peshawar to the port city of Karachi in Sindh in the mid of 2019 on the six-lane motorway Insha Allah," the premier added.

He said the country had almost achieved the 6 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and addressed the challenge of energy crises in the country. "We have laid the solid foundation of a strong country and strengthen the economy," Khaqan Abassi said. He added that the government presented a balance budget and introduced reforms in income tax.

The prime minister said the government would have to expand the tax network in the country as no country can developed without collecting taxes. "There are only 700,000 registered taxpayers in the country which is not enough. We would have to expanded it manifold and take the number of taxpayers to 700,0000. To expand the network of tax is a prerequisite for the development of the country," he added.

He appreciated the efforts of Mehtab Ahmad Khan and CAA for the completion of the expansion work of the Bacha Khan International Airport, Peshawar. Mehtab Ahmad Khan said the expansion and provision of international standard facilities at the airport in Peshawar was his desire. He said that thousands of tribesmen and people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were doing jobs in Gulf and other countries and sent billions of dollars of remittances back to the country and played an important role in the economy. "I wanted to provide them and people of the province and tribal areas improved air transport facilities," he added.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra also spoke on the occasion. Deputy Speaker National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi was also present.

Our correspondent adds: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Wednesday Rs200 billion would be spent annually on the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) to put the region on the road to development.

"We took the decision after having a number of meetings with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra on the issue. The people of Fata will be provided all the facilities and rights which are enjoyed by the people in other parts of the country," he declared.

The premier was speaking at a ceremony after inaugurating the Jamrud 132KV gridstation constructed with the Rs780 million.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the PML-N government did not believe in mere promises but practical work, adding people could testify to this fact. The prime minister said: "We will do all that for the development and progress of Fata which is being done for Islamabad and other cities of Pakistan."

Talking of the Fata reforms, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said work was in progress and meetings being convened. "Such a decision will be taken which is in the interest of the Pakistan and people of Fata," he assured.

About the Jamrud gridstation, the prime minister said he was feeling happy that this project was launched by the PML-N government and it was being inaugurated during the tenure of this government. "I hope this will help resolve the electricity shortage problem in this area," he added. Abbasi requested the people of Jamrud to help reduce the line losses.

The prime minister said gas was the right of tribal people. He said: "We have carried out a survey. Work will be launched the project to supply gas to the area as soon as curbs were lifted on the development projects," he added.

Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Ghalib Khan, Member National Assembly from Khyber Agency Shah Jee Gul Afridi, Senator Taj Muhammad, Khyber Agency Political Agent Islamzeb and Tribal Electric Supply Company Hamid Khan also spoke on the occasion.  

The elected representatives apprised the prime minister of the local problems who assured them of taking all steps to have them resolved.