KAROT – Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday urged the people to reject politics of sit-ins and immorality which had inflicted huge economic loss to the national economy in the past as well.
The prime minister, addressing the engineers and workers at the under-construction Karot Hydropower project here, said the memories of 2014-sit in (by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) still haunted which had caused the postponement of the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“A sit-in is being planned again… We should not divide nation through sit in … What message you are giving through the sit-in,” the prime minister questioned the PTI leadership which was on its way towards Islamabad for a sit-in in the federal capital.
Without naming the PTI, he said the political party had been requested to suspend their sit-in for three days but they were adamant not to change their mind. He said had the visit of Chinese president taken place in 2014, the Karot power project –a part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor- would had been completed a year ago to contribute 720 megawatt to the national grid.
He said the government was trying to rectify the bad economy and inflation inherited from the previous government. By reducing the oil prices, the previous government had left a “landmine” for his government, he added. The prime minister, who reviewed the progress on the project, said the project faced some delay due to COVID and other related issues.
He said the previous prime minister had enough time to drag to the opposition to tight corner, and create division in the society but could not find some time to visit the gigantic project, control inflation, poverty and unemployment.
He said after coming into power through a constitutional process, the incumbent government was striving to take measures for controlling inflation and stabilize the economy.
He said during his interaction, the Chinese engineers assured for early completion for what he thanked the Chinese and Pakistani workers, departments and ministries concerned for taking utmost interest to complete the project.
He also thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping, PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and Chairman of Three Gorges Company which was executing the project. The prime minister said being a hydro power project, the electricity price would reduce to even Rs 3 per unit gradually, after the retirement of the debt.
He also thanked the Three Gorges Company head for agreeing to supply free-of-charge electricity to the national grid till the finalization of Commercial Operation Dates to save Rs 4 billion to the national kitty, which was unprecedented and a gesture of strong China-Pakistan friendship.
“This is the China-Pakistan friendship and iron brotherhood…This is the passion to serve which everyone should have … The only solution is the work hard and learn from past mistake and reject the sit-ins to achieve the lost grandeur,” he remarked. The prime minister called for emulating the Chinese model of development. He said both the Punjab and Azad Kashmir governments would get Rs 1.2 billion as water use charge who would be spending Rs 120 million annually for next 30 years for the uplift of the Karot area as the locals had sacrificed their properties for the project.
Meanwhile, PM Shehbaz Sharif late Wednesday said that Pakistan will progress only through sheer hard work. “It has been my conviction that Pakistan will progress only through sheer hard work. Politics of dharna is detrimental to progress & stability. We are focused on overcoming challenges of governance. Nothing can distract us from the task at hand. I owe it to people of Pakistan,” the PM tweeted.