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May 27, 2018

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Zardari, Musharraf didn’t install any power plant: PM

SHUJAABAD: The Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, has said the Pakistan Muslim League-N has done a commendable job and delivered a lot for the uplift of the country, but, Asif Zardari-led Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and former dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf failed to deliver during their tenures, particularly on the energy crisis.

Addressing a public meeting after the inauguration of Sukkur-Multan Motorway [M-5] Multan-Shujabad section here on Saturday, he said the country could be taken forward only through political process and democracy. He said the people are the ultimate decision makers in a democratic setup. He said the next general elections would be held in July this year and making a choice amongst the political parties is not difficult for the people, as they have witnessed the performance of all the parties.

He said Gen Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari failed to set up even a single energy production unit, whereas the PML-N government not only announced development projects but also completed them on time, he said. The past governments had financial resources, but they lacked vision and commitment, he said. Abbasi asked the people whether the Musharraf-led government lacked financial resources during its 10-year rule. Did Zardari lack financial resources during five years of the PPP government?, he asked They had complete control on the financial resources but they lacked the commitment, he added. The PML-N government launched mega energy projects across the country due to which there would be no power shortage in the next 20 years. The PML-N government generated additional 10,400-MW electricity in the last five years, and did a historic job which had not been done in 65 years of Pakistan's history. He said the PML-N was delivering when a party was only abusing and raising fingers.

About the demand for the southern Punjab province demand, the prime minister said those calling themselves the champion of southern Punjab province were sitting alongside Gen (retd) Musharraf. They were in a position to create a province, but they lacked the commitment with the people of southern Punjab. He said a national dialogue must be held to evolve a consensus on a new province in south Punjab, but it should not be used as an election slogan only.

Briefing about the M-5 Sukkur-Multan Motorway, the National Highway Authority official said the M-5 Sukkur-Multan Motorway is part of Karachi-Lahore Motorway project, and is being constructed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative. It is 394-km long and will cost around Rs294 billion. The development work on M-5 was launched in 2016 and it will be completed 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, Rahimyar Khan, Sadiqabad and Bahawalpur. The project includes construction of several bridges, interchanges, underpasses.

APP adds: Later in 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 was no river crossing on the 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 Rahimyar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, Faisalabad and Lahore on the eastern side, being a short route from Karachi to Lahore. It was an old demand of the people and will boost the economic growth of areas on both sides of the river, besides reducing distance and the time of travel. The bridge is 1.2km long with 12.2m width. Approach roads including one which is 14km towards Zahirpur on N-5 and another of 16km towards Mithankot and N-55 have also been constructed.

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