KARACHI: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Wednesday said a network of motorways would be stretched across the country to inter-connect all the provinces.
“Linking of provinces through motorways would also develop a close bond between the people living across the country,” the Prime Minister said while performing the ground-breaking of M-9 Karachi-Hyderabad motorway, the first phase of Lahore-Karachi motorway.
The Karachi-Hyderabad section would be completed in two-and-a- half years with a cost of Rs 36 billion of the total Rs 361 billion expenditure. Frontier Works Organization (FWO) and National Highway Authority (NHA) will jointly carry out the project.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the modern road network would not only boost national economy, but also help generate employment and end poverty.
He said the project would eventually benefit billions of people across the region and help create a positive image of Pakistan. He said it would also help increase agricultural produce and industries.
He said materialization of Lahore-Karachi motorway project was one of his biggest dreams. He said the road would be constructed in sections including Hyderabad-Sukkur, Sukkur-Multan, Multan-Lahore that would link the country from Peshawar to Karachi through a fast road network.
Prime Minister regretted that Pakistan failed to be part of the developed countries of the world, by not constructing vital communication networks. He stressed the need to learn from the past mistakes and undertake mega projects at a fast pace.
He said Pakistan has talented youth that can play an important role in national development.
He said the government in around 20 months time had initiated a number of mega projects and M-9 was part of his vision.
He mentioned the 42 kilometre-long Malir Expressway that would link Karachi port to M-9 so that commuters do not experience any delays.
He said Sukkur-Multan road would be part of Pak-China Trade corridor and play a key role in national economy. He said with completion of modern road network, people would prefer travelling by road, rather than by air.
He particularly appreciated Director General FWO Major General Muhammad Afzal and his role in construction of roads in Balochistan.
He paid rich tributes to the officers and jawans of FWO who laid down their lives for linking together strategic areas of the country.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked Major General Afzal to complete the project within the shortest possible time.
Prime Minister also lauded the Pakistan Army for waging a tough war against terrorists and their efforts to eliminate all forms of sectarianism and terrorism. He prayed to Allah Almighty for success in the war against terrorism.
Prime Minister said measures were also afoot to rid the country of loadshedding and said 10,000 MW would be added to the national grid before the end of his government’s tenure.
He mentioned work on various ongoing projects including Thar Coal and said Pakistan would soon be self-sufficient in coal production.
The Prime Minister said quality work would be ensured on the newly reconstructed road and would be one of the best roads of international standard.
He said the road network would be extended to Kabul for which he had already talked to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. He said soon Pakistan’s road network would be connecting Karachi and Gwadar Ports to Khunjerab and Central Asian Republics.