PESHAWAR - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday directed the National Highway Authority (NHA) to complete Lowari Tunnel project by 2017.

Presiding over a high level meeting here at the Governor House to review pace of work on Lowari Tunnel, the PM assured provision of funds for early completion of the project, said a press release issued here by Press Information Department Peshawar.

Expressing concern over delay, he said that non-completion of the project in nine years is highly deplorable, adding the undue delay has escalated the cost of the project.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the relevant authorities to review the project and immediately initiate the construction work and complete it by October 2017.

He said that it is very unfortunate that lack of attention to development projects resulted in huge financial loss to the national exchequer. It was informed during the meeting that 100 per cent work has been completed on 1.9 kilometers of the tunnel while 50 per cent work has been done on rest of the 8.5 kilometers.

Meanwhile, the prime minister while getting briefing on Zarb-e-Azab operation and relief activities for the affected tribal people expressed his satisfaction.

He said the government stands by the armed forces and patriotic tribal people who have rendered sacrifices for betterment and prosperity of the country. Nawaz Sharif vowed that the government would utilise all available resources to facilitate the displaced people of North Waziristan.

Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, Federal Minister for Information Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Planning Ehsan Iqbal, Minister for Communication Abdul Hakim Baloch and Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Amjad Ali were also present during the meeting.

Demo against extortion

incidents in Peshawar

Demanding protection from extortionists, residents of Pahari Pura Peshawar on Friday staged a protest demonstration outside the Peshawar Press Club.

The protesters of Pahari Pura area, led by a local Muhammad Humyun and other elders of the area, holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans against extortionists and police for failing to provide them protection. They also raised their full-throated slogans against the government and local police for failing to provide protection to citizens.

Talking to the media, Humayun alleged that one Qamar Zaman alias Qamary made a demand of one lakh rupees' extortion from him but when was refused, the alleged extortionist fired upon himself and lodged an FIR against him. Now in reconciliation, he said, Qamary made a demand of one million rupees, which was quite injustice with him.

Humayun also alleged that several criminal cases like kidnapping for ransom and extortion were reported against Qamary to the Pahari Pura police but despite that police do not take against the notorious extortionist.

He appealed to Chief Justice Peshawar High Court and Inspector General of Police Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to take notice of it and provide him justice by conducting an impartial inquiry into the matter.