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ABBOTTABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hit out at the ongoing movement of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) during his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Hazara Motorway on Saturday, and said that sit-ins are detrimental to the country's progress.

While commenting on the current sit-in protests, the premier said that they will not ensure progress for Pakistan, nor will they bring an end to unemployment.

"Do you want electricity or protests?" asked the premier during his speech to scores of supporters. "The protests will make the country move backwards, it will not enable progress." he added.

"The kind of language that is taught to our younger generation during these protests... is this the language adolescents will use in 'Naya Pakistan'?" Nawaz said, referring to Imran Khan's speeches during rallies. "I have never heard such falsehood in my entire life, as much as I have heard in the past few days in these protests."

Nawaz arrived in Havelian earlier today, for the inauguration of the Hazara Motorway project. According to a report by Radio Pakistan, this important road link is part of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor agreement.

The 60-km long 4-lane fenced expressway will cost Rs30 billion with the purpose of reducing the drive time from Islamabad to Havelian to just 30 minutes in addition to providing roads for the Havelian Dry Port project.

The prime minister’s speech in Havelian, located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where PTI leads the provincial government, comes just a day before the PTI’s show of strength on Nov 30 in the federal capital.

The PTI has long been leading demonstrations in protest of alleged electoral rigging by the PML-N, which swept the 2013 polls. The PTI also blames the government for widespread corruption and poor governance.

The two parties have been in a standoff since August 14, when Imran launched his ‘Independence march’ against the government.

Nawaz, meanwhile, has promised to spend millions on building thousands of schools, vowed a reduction in load-shedding and gas prices, and an increase employment.

In a few days I’ll be heading to Karachi for the groundbreaking of the Karachi-Lahore Motorway, Nawaz told the crowd today.

PM announces Rs9.66 cut in POL prices

During his speech at the groundbreaking in Havelian today, the prime minister also announced a reduction of Rs9.66 per litre in the price of petrol.

Following the reduction, a notification of which Nawaz said will be issued the next day, the price of petrol will come down to Rs84.53 per litre from Rs94.19.

Nawaz also announced a Rs7.12 per litre cut in the price of high speed diesel, which will be reduced to Rs94.09 from Rs101.21, and a cut by Rs10 per litre in the price of HOBC, bringing it down to Rs103 from Rs113.

Ogra had recommended the reduction in POL prices after crude prices have fell to four-year lows in the international market.

According to details, the price of kerosene will be Rs83.51 per litre, down by Rs4.01 per litre from Rs87.52. The price of light diesel oil will be Rs78.42 per litre, down by Rs5 from Rs83.42.

The new prices will take effect from Monday, Dec 1.