PESHAWAR - Coming down hard on his political opponents, especially PTI, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday predicted that even Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would not remain in the hands of that party after 2018, which has been making tall claims to make a new Pakistan, but has badly failed even to make a new KP.

Referring to the next general elections, the prime minister said, “PTI will lose even in KP. Those who promised to make a new Pakistan have so far been unable to create a new KP. They have even lost the recently held by-polls in Peshawar”.

Nawaz Sharif said PML-N and JUI-F together will make a “really new Pakistan, as more sustainable partnership of these two parities is in the making, which will work together for the welfare of the masses.

“The political rivals like politics of sit-ins and they do it, but, we will do our work which is putting the country on the track of development,” the prime minister said, while addressing a joint public meeting of JUI-F and PML-N at Rata Kolachi Stadium in Dera Ismail Khan soon after performing the ground-breaking ceremony of the first phase of the western route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), from DI Khan to Rehmani Khel, which is about 55 kilometers long expressway.

Earlier, on his arrival at DI Khan, the prime minister was received by KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Federal Housing Minister Akram Khan Durrani and Opposition Leader in KP Assembly Maulana Lutfur Rehman. A large number of workers of PML-N and JUI-F attended the public gathering.

“Staging protests is the opposition’s fate. Let them do it; we will work for development. In KP-8 by-polls held recently in Peshawar, the PTI candidate remained third because the people have realised no new Pakistan is coming up, while the PML-N won the seat, which reflects the people’s confidence in us,” the PM added.

Holding flags of their respective parties, workers of both PML-N and JUI-F also participated in the gathering from nearby districts like Tank, Bannu and Lakki Marwat. They frequently raised slogans in favour of the PM and his government during the proceedings of the public meeting.

The PM, addressing PTI, said, “You will not even have KP in 2018. You lost support even in the Peshawar by-election.”

Announcing various development projects of multi-billion rupees, the PM said an agriculture university would be set up in DI Khan. He also directed Pakistan international Airlines and Civil Aviation Authority to make arrangements for international flights from DI Khan.

Moreover, he announced Rs120 billion for Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) and added work on this important project would be started immediately and completed in three months.

In the same breath, he announced development funds worth Rs 500 million for the district and Rs 770 million for gas supply to all tehsils of DI Khan as well as Rs 80 million for the feasibility study of Tank-Zam Dam in the area. “I always wanted to visit DI Khan. I and Maulana will come again for the inauguration of these projects,” the PM said, adding these game-changer projects would change the fate of the region

Speaking on the occasion, JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said they would not allow anyone to hatch a conspiracy against the democratic system. “We want peace, progress and a strong democracy in the country. The opposition has every right to protest, but criticism has its limits,” he said.

Assuring the PM of fully supporting him over the Panama papers issue, Fazlur Rehman said the people of the country are with Nawaz Sharif who is ready to accept the opposition’s demands regarding the Panama leaks.

Lashing out at PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Fazl said he had enough money in 1983 to establish companies abroad to avoid paying taxes, while in 1987, he became so poor that he had to write a letter to the then Punjab CM, (Nawaz Sharif) for getting a flat.

“The cat is out of the bag. You and not the PM have been proved a thief,” he said, addressing PTI Chief Imran Khan. “Instead of supporting a Pakistani Muslim, Imran Khan campaigned for his Jewish brother-in-law in the London mayor’s election,” Fazl remarked. He said some ineligible people wanted to take control of Pakistan’s politics, but they would not succeed at all.