KARACHI - President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said that the Lyari Expressway Project was the fulfillment of the promise of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and yet another dividend of the policies pursued by the coalition government in Sindh.

This he said while inaugurating the recommencement of work at Lyari Expressway project by unveiling plaque here at the Chief Minister’s House.

It may be recalled that Lyari Expressway, the project of vital importance for the metropolis was envisaged by Benazir Bhutto in the year 1995. However, after one year it was put in the cold storage with the change of the government.

The present democratic government realising the importance of the project allocated a sum of Rs5.1 billion for the completion of the remaining work of this important project.

In his address, President Zardari said that inauguration of recommencement of work on Lyari Expressway coinciding with the foundation day of the PPP was an auspicious omen.

Paying tributes to the vision of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he said that the project which was nearing its completion involved several issues which were resolved as result of policy of reconciliation as envisioned by Benazir Bhutto. He said that politics of reconciliation was successfully pursued in Sindh for strengthening of democracy and betterment of the people of the province. Even the super powers in this region were pursuing this policy, he continued. The President said that this was the lesson which was taught to us by Benazir Bhutto.

In his address the President said that, at present, Pakistan needed more work and less politics for continuing its journey unabated towards progress and prosperity. He said that there was a need to help the business community, the entrepreneurs, Haris and to undertake concerted efforts for the progress and prosperity of the country and its people.

Referring to the alliance of the allied parties in Sindh, he pointed out that various attempts were made to create fissures in the ruling parties but every attempt failed as the parties knew about the consequences of allowing such attempts to succeed.

Highlighting the importance of political stability and that of law and order, the President said that if the industry moves away from Karachi due to law & order situation or any other issue then it is us who would lose and would suffer.

On this occasion the President while highlighting the significance of the Lyari Expressway Project remarked that LEW was not just a 32-km long expressway but it was a link to unite the political forces and the future of international communication which will connect Karachi to other posts of the country. He said that a time will come when there will be four to five ports on the coast of Pakistan and there would be a need for more infrastructure.  

Those who were present on the occasion included among others Chairman of PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Governor Sindh, Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Minister for Communication Dr.Arbab Alamgir Khan, federal and provincial ministers, Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuhro and members of the Parliament.

In his welcome address, Minister for Communications, Arbab Alamgir said that today is a very important day for him as well as for the PPP. He said that the Lyari expressway was a gift of the present democratic government for the people of Karachi. The minister termed the project as the state of the art one which was stalled for the past several year.

He said that in the past three years, President Asif Ali Zardari extended a great deal of help while the Governor of Sindh, Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, also supported a lot.

Arbab Alamgir said that the democracy in the country today is because of the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and the sacrifices rendered by the leadership and the workers of the PPP. He stressed that full care should be taken of the ‘Amanat’ of Benazir Bhutto.

The minister also pointed out that road infrastructure is very important for the economy of any country. This is why that the present government has given importance to this sector.

Arbab Alamgir said that in the Sindh province the NHA was pursuing projects to the tune of Rs 70 billion.

The representative of NHA, Brig Basim said that Expressway spans from Sohrab Goth in the north to Mauripur in the south. The project, he added, would considerably curtail the travel time and reduce traffic congestion and provide environment friendly route.

There will be safety to public life and property during the floods. The NHA Representative said that there will be quick access/exit to port-bound traffic and prevent encroachments of river-bed and banks.

The cost of the project would be Rs 11,087 million and the likely completion date is June 2013. He thanked the President for providing Rs5.1 billion for the completion of the remaining work of the Lyari Expressway project.

The president of PPP Karachi, Abdul Qadir Patel said that the Lyari Expressway project was envisaged by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto in 1995. It was pursued for one year but after the change of the government it was put in cold storage.

He thanked President Asif Ali Zardari for providing a sum of Rs5.1 billion for the completion of Lyari expressway project.