Hunza (P.Obs): Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Friday launched two landmark multi-million dollar strategic projects at the Korakorum Highway (KKH), aimed at restoring the historic road linkage with China that was severed due to the artificial Attabad lake created as a result of landslides.
The Prime Minister performed the ground breaking of re- alignment of a 17-km long section of the Karakoram Highway (KKH). He also inaugurated the 510.42 million dollars up-gradation of a 335 km long section of the road from Raikot to Khunjerab that has now been widened and meets international standards of construction.
Prime Minister Ashraf, who earlier had an aerial view of the Attabad lake, the upgraded road and the proposed road alignment site, said that the new roads were part of an effort of the government to provide the people of remote areas a fast and easy linkage with the rest of the country.
He said that the road would not only ease travel, but also help provide all facilities of life. He said it would further deepen the strong ties between Pakistan and China.
He said that road links were known to bring progress and prosperity to the areas they touch and hoped that a new era of development would usher in.
He said that road links were a priority of the government and recalled his meeting with Chinese leaders during his recent visit to China where the KKH’s upgradation and re-alignment were discussed. He appreciated and thanked the Chinese government for keeping its promise of dispatching the required heavy machinery for completion of the project.
Adding a new terminology relating to Pak-China friendship, he said that apart from being taller the mountains and deeper the oceans, it was also sweeter than honey.
Prime Minister Ashraf said that despite the several challenges the country was facing, the nation had to stand united, continue to strive for stronger democratic traditions and with tolerance continue to move ahead on the road to progress and development.
He said that the tendency of pursuing negative thoughts needed to be done away with. Only with greater understanding and love, we can hope to achieve progress, he added.
He said that Pakistan ranked top for rendering innumerable sacrifices in the fight against terrorism as it had lost precious lives of civilians and law enforcement agencies personnel.
He said that the country also faced the challenges of global recession and economic issues, but expressed the resolve that it would rise above all such issues.
The Prime Minister, who was here on his first visit to the scenic Gilgit-Baltistan, was briefed by the Chairman of National Highway (NHA) about the KKH project. He said that Pakistan’s northern areas were a treasure trove for those, who yearn for natural beauty and a must-go for tourists from any part of the world.
He said that all measures would be taken to enhance facilities to the tourists from within the country and abroad.
Prime Minister Ashraf said that he himself was a party worker, belonging to middle class and was here on this seat due to the love of the workers and respect by the party leadership.
He said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and its allies were proud to have politically empowered the people of Gilgit Baltistan, as it was their due right.
He said the Shaheed leaders of the party had always acknowledged the role of democracy loving people of the area and did all within their means to stand by them.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that the government of Gilgit- Baltistan was striving hard to serve the masses, despite several challenges it was facing. He lauded the people and political and religious leaders of Gilgit-Baltistan for standing up for their democratic rights and said it would go a long way in helping them achieve all their cherished goals and democratic ideals.