Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that demonstrations and negotiations cannot go hand-in-hand and no one would be allowed to create hurdles in the way of progress and development of the country.
He expressed these views while addressing a foundation stone-laying ceremony for the renovation of the 357km-long Islamabad-Lahore M-2 Motorway.
As Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has already announced its Plan-D to shut down the entire country on December 18, PM Nawaz has come up with his own version of Plan-D and dubbed it ‘development’.
He said the word ‘D’ can mean both: development or destruction. However, he believes in development unlike those who are bent upon ‘destruction’.
“No one would be allowed to create any hurdle in the way of progress and development of Pakistan,” the prime minister maintained as he unveiled his development plans including construction of roads, infrastructure and end to power crisis.
“The people of Pakistan have already rejected those who are trying to push the country over the edge,” he said while addressing a large gathering at the Balkasar Interchange.
The prime minister said hurdles against his government were not new and those who hold protests and demonstrations against him regularly travel on the same road they use to criticise.
He said a lot of hue and cry was raised when work on Lahore-Islamabad Motorway was initiated.
However, the whole project was completed with honesty, transparently and devotion. Despite the efforts of opponents, no one could find even a shred of evidence against the project.
PM Nawaz hoped that when his party goes back to polls in 2018, they will proudly carry with them fulfilled promises such as an end to load-shedding, lowering of exchange rate, completion of mega development projects, lower inflation, elimination of extremism and terrorism.
Without naming PTI, he told the audience that on the contrary, his opponents would show off how they closed down cities and staged protests, arson and looting; created obstacles in the path of progress and development; launched attack on parliament; inflicted damage to democracy and did nothing constructive.
“They are damaging entire Pakistan as they damaged one province,” he said.
The prime minister said he was pleased to be there on the renovation and improvement of the six-lane Lahore-Islamabad Motorway section, adding that the road was a wonder when it was constructed around 16 years ago.
He mentioned that the modernisation of the M-2 Motorway would jointly be undertaken by the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and National Highway Authority (NHA) within a stipulated time of three years.
Though the FWO chief, PM Nawaz said, has assured him of completing the road in the shortest possible time.
He said the overlaying, fencing, beautification of the road would make travel along it a wonderful experience.
He said that the government was not seeking any loans from abroad for the construction of the road. On the contrary, FWO would pay an amount of Rs206 billion to the government of Pakistan over the agreement period, besides looking after the road. The very first day the project kicks off, Rs9.5 billion would be paid to the government, he added.
Premier Nawaz also assured that the proposal by FWO for setting up industrial zones would be undertaken on priority by the government and a feasibility would be prepared in due course.
He lauded FWO for constructing roads in parts of Baluchistan where no private organisation was willing to work. The next project, PM Nawaz announced, would be the motorway from Karachi to Lahore, Peshawar to Kabul, and Kashgar to Gwadar.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2014.