DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday sustained his party's streak of vengeance towards the opposition at the groundbreaking of the Dera Ismail Khan-Hakla Motorway just a day after he failed to impress his opponents in parliament.
Despite saying he would "not discuss his political opponents", the prime minister fell back into his routine of lashing out at the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). He brought up the party's recent loss in the Peshawar PK-8 by-polls, saying: The PTI candidate placed third in the polls because "the people of Peshawar have realised there is no Naya Pakistan coming up.”
"Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is slipping from your hands," he said, addressing the PTI. "You will not even have KP in 2018, much less Pakistan.”
Nawaz performed the groundbreaking ceremony of a gas pipeline and the 285-kilometre-long DI Khan-Hakla Motorway, part of the western leg of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The project is set to be completed in two years at a cost of more than Rs142 billion. Starting at DI Khan, the route will be linked with Mughalkot in Balochistan.
The motorway is set to be constructed in five stages and passes through Pindi Gheb, Sawan, Mianwali, Rokhri, Rehmani Khel and will terminate at Yarik (DI Khan). Today marked the inauguration of the four-lane 55km Yarik-Rehmani Khel stretch of the motorway, estimated to cost Rs2 billion and two years to complete.
The PM also allocated a fund of Rs500 million for development projects in DI Khan, including an agriculture university and an international airport. "Civil Aviation Authority and Pakistan International Airways have been directed to provide facilities to accommodate ATR planes so that international travel is more convenient."
A separate fund of Rs870 million has been reserved for the gas pipeline.