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China Pakistan Economic Corridor speedily turning into reality: Ahsan Iqbal

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HAVELIAN, Dec 20 (APP): Minister for Interior and Planning, Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), only a dream about four years ago, was speedily turning into a reality and work on all its routes was fully on track.

Talking to media here after reviewing the progress of Havelian-Thahkot Motorway, he said the 118 km long motorway would be completed by early 2020, while the 38 km Haveilian-Mansehra section would be opened for the public during next year.

He informed that the Burhan-Havelian section of the motorway would be inaugurated on Wednesday (Dec 27).

Ahsan Iqbal was accompanied by Deputy Speaker National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Chairman National Highways Authority (NHA) Jawad Rafique Malik.

The minister said credit went to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who took personal interest in the construction of road networks across the country. It had helped connecting the far-flung and backward areas of the country with mainstream areas, he added.

He also slammed the opponents of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) for criticizing Nawaz Sharif’s policy of constructing roads saying they were only opposing for the sake of opposition as roads were considered to be very important part of the development of any area.

The minister was also briefed about the project and was informed that work on Havelian-Thahkot was initiated in September 2016 and 33 percent work had so far been completed.

He was informed that the project was a part of CPEC and it was being built with the Chinese support and the total cost of the project was Rs 134 billion.

Ahsan Iqbal directed the project’s general manager to hire at least 100 trainee engineers so that they could get a first-hand experience from such a grand project.

He also directed to make partnership with the nearby university’s civil department to provide practical training to the final year students of the university.

To a question, the minister said currently Pakistan was fighting a decisive war against terrorism and the backbone of the terrorists had almost been broken.

He said the neighboring country was trying to sabotage the CPEC project, however only internal unity harmony could ensure foiling of such objectives. “CPEC belongs to all Pakistanis irrespective of any political, or group affiliation, therefore in order to foil the nefarious designs of enemies of Pakistan, all political parties should get united and work for the prosperity of the country,” he added.

To another question, he said civil-military relationships were going on smoothly and good relationship was key to ensuring peace and stability in the country.

Ahsan Iqbal said the Faizabad sit-in was a nightmare which had potential to explode violence in the country on sectarian basis.

He said the current month belonged to founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who dreamed of working with unity to make the country developed and prosperous. “Let us promise that we will work for the country’s prosperity as per dream of Quaid-e-Azam and will evade hatred on the basis of region, ethnicity, and language,” he added.

To a query, the minister said Nawaz Sharif wanted a system which should provide justice for all, without any discrimination. He said the former prime minister was not against the Supreme Court . “Nawaz Sharif wanted to lead a movement to strengthen the justice system to ensure transparent and merit-based decisions for all,” he added.

To another query, the minister invited Dr Tahir ul Qadri to table for negotiation and to resolve all his complaints through talks.

APP/C:azm-nuh/R:azm

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