Don’t worry, PM Shehbaz tells inflation-hit people

D I KHAN               -        Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Monday that despite myriad economic challenges including the post flood situation, the coalition government is determined to steer the country out of the current difficulties. Addressing a ceremony after laying foundation stones of different uplift communication, road, hydel and power infrastructure projects, the prime minister said, “these challenges might be manifold but 220 million people of the country should not get worried, the coalition government with the support of its partners will steer the country out of the challenges.” He said for the achievement of progress and prosperity, they would have to work hard with devotion. “Nations always faced difficulties and the coalition government will put Pakistan on the path of development only through hard work,” he added. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, Advisor to PM on Political Affairs Engineer Amir Muqam, Amir of Jammiat-e-Ulema Islam-F Maulana Fazlur Rehman, relevant authorities and a large number of people were present on the occasion. The prime minister said that he had laid down foundations for the commencement of mega development projects in the backward areas of the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He mentioned that during his previous visits, these areas were inundated with flood water and the people of the areas had faced immense destruction, from Nowshera to Swat, Kalam, Kohistan, DI Khan and Tank districts were badly affected by floods. Destruction in Swat was caused mainly due to man-made structures in the middle of course of the river, he said, and criticised the provincial government of PTI for its flawed policies. The prime minister sarcastically referred that the PTI provincial government always talked about introduction of an efficient system, but the people had witnessed the crumbling of that system whereas the government’s blunders in this regard could not be neglected. He said however, with the collective efforts made by all the governments to overcome the flood situation, but still different areas in Sindh were under flood water and the people in Gilgit Baltistan were shivering from biting cold. The prime minister said that the federal government had allocated a huge amount of Rs90 billion for the flood-affected populace and each affected family was given Rs 25,000 besides, ensuring provision of medicine and food. The magnitude of the disaster was huge, he said, adding on 9th January a donors’ conference would be held in Geneva and they would remind the world that the climate induced calamity was the result of global carbon emissions by the developed nations. Pakistan had less than one percent of carbon imprints, but it had been pummeled by the extreme weather due to carbon emissions by the developed countries, he opined. The prime minister further assured the nation that the coalition federal government in collaboration with the provincial governments, would not rest till the complete rehabilitation of the flood-affected people. The prime minister said that construction of Hakla-Yarak motorway which had hugely reduced the travel time from Islamabad to DIKhan had been conceived and implemented by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He said the whole country had been connected with a network of motorways and Nawaz Sharif solely deserved credit for the launch of such mega projects, adding that he had laid the foundation stone of the last segment of Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway section recently. The prime minister reiterated that dream of Nawaz Sharif for a prosperous Pakistan would be fulfilled. He regretted that during the past PTI’s government, all these uplift projects, initiated during PML-N government, were brought to grinding halt. Citing the Hakla-DIKhan motorway, the prime minister said it was part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) conceived during 2017, but the PTI government put these projects into cold storage, thus affecting the development and progress of the country. The prime minister also regretted that due to faulty policies of PTI’s government, the friendly nations including China were dismayed. In a veiled reference to former PM Imran Khan, he said that PTI leader had brought disrespect to the country after selling out the precious gifts donated by foreign leaders. They gave these precious gifts as a sign of fraternal ties with the people of Pakistan, but the former ruler sold them out in open markets, he added. The prime minister said that when he had taken oath, he did not realise the economic disaster towards the country was heading to as Pakistan was on the verge of default, but due to the efforts of the coalition government and all other relevant institutions and prayers of the nation, they saved the country. He said still they were faced with economic challenges. Pakistan suffered a loss of $30 billion due to floods and these woes were multiplied by global inflation and recession, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the exorbitant price of gas and oil in the international market. ‘Development initiatives for KP province’ Jamiat Ulemai-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazal-urRehman on Monday said that development initiatives inaugurated by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would herald an era of social and economic prosperity for the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Highlighting the significance of the geopolitical location of Dera Ismail Khan, he said it was linking all the provinces, adding it deserved such mega projects to make it an economic hub. He expressed these views while addressing a ceremony where Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated a host of development initiatives for the southern districts of KP, especially Dera Ismail Khan. He recalled that he had already said on several occasions that one day the Dera Ismail Khan would become a trade hub for the entire world and today his vision was being given practical shape. He said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government had put the country on a path of development by initiating concrete measures to enhance trust of other countries in Pakistan. The JUI-F chief, who also heads the PDM, said the restoration of trust which the country lost during Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) tenure was currently a big challenge for the present coalition government and expressed the strong resolve that the PDM leadership would overcome this challenge like it successfully tackled other inherited challenges. He said that besides other countries, China pumped in massive investment in the mega development projects of the country, but when PTI came to power “it stalled all mega development projects including the key mega project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)” by expounding the philosophy that country could not afford such mega development initiatives. As a result, the country’s economy was shattered with even citizens avoiding investing due to the “flawed and shaky policies of the PTI government”. He said that Gwadar port played a crucial role in the economic development of the country and it was one of the deepest ports in Asia, but its depth was drastically reduced and work had started again to deepen it. Fazl also underlined the need for providing funds to the development of merged tribal districts as agreed under the merger plan of those areas. He said that inhabitants of the merged tribal districts were still lacking facilities and infrastructures that were yet to be developed. He said the people of those areas don’t have houses and feared that the situation would further aggravate in view of growing terrorism incidents and it was not certain if any development project could be undertaken or not. He also asked the authorities concerned to revisit the map of Tank Zam dam to address all relevant grievances. He said this would be a multi-purpose project, and adding such dams would help bring about 12 lac acre rain-fed land under cultivation. He also expressed thanks to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on visiting the Dera Ismail Khan and inaugurating a number of development projects. PM for using digital media to portray Pakistan’s positive image Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has emphasised the need to utilize the power and influence of digital media as a tool to portray the positive image of Pakistan. Addressing the National Amateur Short Film Festival 2022 here organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Monday, he said our youth should take a leading role for this purpose. Congratulating the winners of the festival, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan has a wonderful soft, tolerant image which needs to be reflected all over the world through modern tools and technology. He said the coalition government will take every possible measure to facilitate our youth for its endeavour to showcase Pakistan’s diverse and beautiful image to the world

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