ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said since the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had already created a ‘new Pakistan,’ the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf should look for other options.

Addressing a news conference here on his last day in the office, Abbasi said the PTI needed to invent new methods to attract the masses.

“Pakistan is much better than it was in 2013 when the PML-N government took over. We have created a new Pakistan. The PTI needs other ways to attract the public,” he said.

The PTI has been raising the slogan of ‘new Pakistan’ to attract voters as the general elections approach.

Abbasi said the PML-N government had set a direction and it was the next government which would be making decisions on the new and ongoing projects which had critical importance in the country’s economic development.

The Prime Minister expressed his confidence that the general election would be held on July 25, adding as per the constitution the Election Commission was bound to hold general election within 60 days after the end of current National Assembly’s tenure on May 31.

Abbasi said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects will connect Pakistan with the neighbouring countries. He said all ongoing and planned projects and CPEC projects will ensure connectivity of the country from within and with the neighbouring countries.

Questioned about the appointment of Ali Jahangir Siddiqui as Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington, the Prime Minister said Siddiqui was neither his relative nor a business partner, adding the decision was taken in the country’s interest and keeping in view of current state of relations with the US.

Siddiqui took charge of his position this week amid a controversy that his appointment was ill-timed as he would be required to resign after the completion of the government’s term.

Abbasi said with an overall allocation of Rs1,750 billion over the last five years for the construction of roads, highways, bridges and motorways across the country, the PML-N government completed 35 projects worth Rs498 billion initiated after 2013.

He said 25 connectivity projects of 1,460km length costing Rs445 billion were ongoing including the important 164km Jaglot-Skardu road which would connect Skardu with Karakorum Highway.

Similarly, he said, 21 major projects of 3,200km length costing Rs800 billion were in the planning and procurement stage. “The length of roads, highways, bridges and motorways projects initiated and completed across the country during the government’s five-year tenure since 2013 is 2,813 kilometers,” the Prime Minister said.

Abbasi said since connectivity was considered as a major force behind economic development in any country, the government not only initiated and completed the new projects but also focused on the completion of long-delayed projects like Lowari Tunnel, Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Highway and Lyari Express Way. To a question, he said the maximum work was done in Balochistan. “The construction of roads, highways and motorways is being carried out in all the provinces and areas of the country,” he said.

Abbasi said the notification about three-month honorarium for federal government employees was misreported and misinterpreted as it was only meant for the “employees of federal secretariat engaged in budget-making process.”