LAHORE - An agreement was signed between the Punjab government and the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) for the construction of southern loop of Lahore Ring Road.

Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif was the chief guest on the occasion. Acting head of Lahore Ring Road Authority Commissioner Lahore Division and Director DOT FWO Sardar Salman Sher Qaisarani signed the agreement under which FWO will build Southern Loop I and II of Lahore Ring Road and the project will be completed within a year.

The chief minister said that the southern loop of the Ring Road will be state-of-the-art. The project under the partnership of Punjab government and FWO will be completed on August 14, 2017. People of Punjab as well as the whole country will fully benefit from this project which will be a masterpiece of standard and transparency. He said that there is a need for further improving policing system for the Ring Road and no overloaded vehicle should be allowed on this road.

Shehbaz Sharif said that Southern Loop-I and II will be 22.6 kilometer long and will cost Rs 24.292 billion. Punjab government has paid a sum of Rs 4.25 billion for acquiring land and shifting of utility services.

Shehbaz Sharif said that the agreement for the construction of Southern Loop I and II has been made minutely. He congratulated DG FWO Maj Gen Muhammad Afzal, Commissioner Lahore Division and their teams on the signing ceremony. He said that the bidding process has been completed transparently and despite making lowest bid, FWO has further reduced the amount.

He said that it is the real spirit of cooperation which has been displayed by Punjab government and construction wing of Pakistan Army. Shehbaz Sharif said that he brought FWO and NLC to Punjab in 1998 and main Boulevard Gulberg constructed by FWO in 1998 lasted for 18 years.

He said that selection of Maj Gen Afzal for FWO by Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif is correct and he maintains quality of projects in the real sense. DG FWO Maj Gen Afzal while speaking on the occasion said that Punjab government and FWO held negotiations for the project in detail. He thanked Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab government,

He said that a lot of efforts were made by the teams of FWO and Punjab government for giving a final shape to the project and the agreement is being made under the guidance of Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif for the construction of Southern Loop-I and II. Chief Secretary, Members Assembly, Malik Saif ul Malook, Malik Ghulam Habib Awan, Ch Gulzar Ahmed Gujjar, former MPA Rana Mubashar Iqbal, Talha Barki, senior officials of FWO and officers concerned were present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep sense of shock and grief over the brutal murder of renowned Qawal Amjad Sabri due to firing in Liaqatabad, Karachi.

Expressing his sympathies with the bereaved family, the chief minister said that mindless killing of iconic Amjad Sabri has left millions, including him, around the world both stunned and sad. He said that Amjad Sabri was not just an amazing artist who carried the Qawali legacy of his illustrious father but was a beautiful human being also.

Shehbaz Sharif said that assassination of Amjad Sabri once again reminds that the fight against terrorism needs to be taken to its logical conclusion that is complete annihilation of terrorists and eradication of the breeding circumstances of terrorism and crime.

He said that silencing of such voices is akin to muting the sound of peace and love in society. The Chief Minister said that his heart goes out to the family and friends of the martyred artist and he was sure that Sindh government and law enforcing agencies shall not rest till the arrest and conviction of the killers of Amjad Sabri.