Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Sorab-Hoshab highway in Turbat on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said under his government “a new Balochistan…a new Pakistan” was being made.
The Sorab-Hoshab highway forms an important link on the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and has been built at an estimated cost of Rs22 billion.
The highway is 449 kilometres long and links the Gwadar port to the north. There are 16 major and 105 minor bridges constructed on the route.
Addressing the ceremony in Hoshab today, the premier said: “I have visited Balochistan the most number of times during my current tenure as prime minister and it has always been to inaugurate a project…this road will bring prosperity to the area.”
"Travelling from Quetta to Gwadar used to take two days but now with the help of this road one can leave Quetta at sunrise and reach Gwadar by noon," the prime minister said.
The prime minister said the road was proof that the government had brought progress back to the region.
"A new road brings new opportunities and gives new life to an area… you'll see the progress in your area,” Prime Minister Nawaz said, adding that he did not want “to repeat the tale of how Balochistan was neglected, but now we will change the face of Balochistan, and Pakistan."
"This road will connect Balochistan to the National Highway, to the rest of the country and to Afghanistan. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan will also benefit from it," the premier said.
He said "Pakistan in 2016 is very different from the Pakistan of 2013", adding that Pakistan of 2018 "will be even better".
Criticising previous regimes, the prime minister said "those before us had this opportunity, but they wasted it…this work can only be done by someone with a vision. We have this vision…not only are we making roads…these roads are bringing children closer to schools and bringing employment and livelihood to the poor”.
“While our enemies are trying to sabotage our projects, people can now decide for themselves as to who is serving the country and who is just inciting hate and playing with people’s emotions,” the premier said.