Quetta - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday said “a new Pakistan in the making” as the dream of Balochistan’s prosperity was being realised with completion of several development projects.

“A new and developed Balochistan means a new Pakistan,” he said while addressing in Turbat after inaugurating 448-kilometre-long Sorab-Hoshab road, an important segment of western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The construction of this highway and other development projects were no favour to Balochistan but the right of the people of this province, the premier said, adding that the pace of progress here was unprecedented.

“Why Balochistan was kept backward in past?” asked Nawaz Sharif, who is having his third stint in power. “We can achieve a ‘Naya Pakistan’ only with the uplift of Balochistan” because there could be no national prosperity without the development of the largest province, he held.

He said no part of the country was being ignored by his government as the journey of progress and development was continuing on full pace in every nook and corner of Pakistan.

He said billions of rupees were being spent on development of Balochistan and the government was particularly focusing on its development to mitigate the sense of deprivation of the Baloch people.

Nawaz Sharif said road network in Balochistan would connect Gwadar Port up to Khunjerab border with China and would ensure economic activity, reduce poverty and unemployment in the province.

“With completion of every new road in Balochistan comes another ray of hope of a promising future for the people of the province,” he said, adding that a strong communication network would pave way for building of schools, universities and hospitals.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his government had chosen the path of serving masses and whosoever wanted to reach the power echelons, should also adopt seriousness and sobriety.

He said during his present tenure, the country had experienced a visible change in terms of strong economy, improved law and order and reduced loadshedding of electricity.

“Only a serious command with a vision can lead the nation,” he said. Brining next elections into the picture, he said that people would give their decision in 2018 election in favour of those who took steps for their welfare.

Without naming opposition leader Imran Khan, he regretted the attitude of some politicians who were constantly involved in mudslinging and said such people were bringing negativity to the society.

“Pakistanis are a cultured nation with great moral traditions. Those who ruin these norms, are responsible for spoiling generations and history calls them a ‘disgrace to the ancestors’,” he said without naming the leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which is giving the premier a tough time regarding Panama Papers revelations.

The PTI has been raising the issue of alleged amassing of wealth by the prime minister and his family through corruption since Panama leaks revealed that PM’s children had undeclared offshore companies.

It has taken the matter to the Supreme Court. While yesterday the PTI along with other opposition parties also raised the issue of PM’s alleged lying to the Parliament on London flats in the Parliament, resulting in a hullabaloo in the house and adjournment of the session until today.

Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri expressed gratitude to the prime minister for giving priority to the people of Balochistan and supporting the launch of several development projects.

He said different areas of Balochistan were being connected with road networks and the dream of progress and prosperity for the province was being realised. He said uplift of Balochistan was in the manifesto of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

FWO DG Lt-Gen Muhammad Afzal said the Sorab-Hoshab road project had been materialised with the unity and will power of the federal and Balochistan governments, FWO, National Highway Authority and local administration.

About the project’s salient features, he said initially it was started in September 2007 but was stopped due to lack of funds and deteriorating law and order situation. He said PM Nawaz in January 2014 gave a go-ahead to restart the road under the guidance of FWO, NHA and Nespak. He said the deadline was reduced from five years and six months to two years and three months.

The FWO DG paid tribute to 32 jawans who laid their lives during construction of this road. He said the road was an important segment of CPEC and would bring prosperity to the area.