LAHORE, March 4: Rejecting the interior minister’s denials, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif says Rehman Malik did talk of the Punjabi Taliban in the federal cabinet meeting. “I stand by my words that Rehman Malik had used the term Punjabi Taliban before the prime minister and other colleagues in the cabinet meeting,” Shahbaz told a reporter while opening the Rs2.3 billion Kalma Chowk flyover project here on Friday.

“Rehman Malik is trying to sow seeds of hatred and differences among the provinces (by bracketing terror acts with people of a province).”

The chief minister reiterated his argument that whether the term Sindhi Taliban would be used if some terror act occurs in Sindh, Pakhtun Taliban in case of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baloch Taliban in case of terror incidents in Balochistan.

He again warned the interior minister against using the term in future as Rehman Malik rebuffed the chief minister’s earlier warning by saying he (Malik) was not a subordinate to Shahbaz.

Earlier, the CM laid foundation stone of the flyover project. Comprising three lanes each on both sides of Ferozepur Road, the flyover is scheduled to complete by Aug 14. During the briefing on the project, Shahbaz said the Punjab government was implementing a comprehensive programme of infrastructure development and a network of flyovers and roads was being laid in the province.

He claimed that the projects executed in his last tenure were also unparalleled with regard to their standard and transparency and Lahore-Kasur Road, Ring Road, Shalimar Interchange, Shaukat Ali Road and other development projects implemented during his current period also were comparable with any international project.

He directed the officials to take all-out steps to complete the flyover by Aug 14 so that better communication facilities could be made available to the people at the earliest.

In the first phase, flyovers will be constructed at Kalma Chowk and in the second, underpasses will be built across the road.

The flyover will be 660-metre long and average speed of vehicles using it will be 60km per hour.

Construction work will be undertaken round the clock for its early completion while alternative routes have also been planned for the convenience of the people during the construction work as a DSP of traffic police along with 100 officials will be deputed to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

At least 400,000 vehicles pass through Kalma Chowk daily.