Islamabad: 14 September, 2015
The Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that Gilgit-Baltistan is a vital link in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and would benefit most from this mega project which would particularly increase the tourist influx.
The Prime Minister was speaking on the occasion of briefing given by Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan at the Airport prior to leaving for Attabad to inaugurate tunnels of rebuilt portion of Karakoram Highway.
The Prime Minister said PML (N) government in Gilgit Baltistan is determined to change the fate of the region and the Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan is a dynamic and competent person who has welfare of his people close to his heart.
The Prime Minister said that federal government views all provinces and areas as equally important and would strengthen the Gilgit Baltistan administration by enabling it to serve the public by ameliorating the economic outlook of the area.
The Prime Minister urged the Gilgit Baltistan government to maintain high level of transparency and integrity in the expenditure of public money and same should be the conduct of the whole country. The Prime Minister also stressed to rectify the mistakes of the past and make corrections where necessary.
The Prime Minister expressed that Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan in his briefing has identified and proposed some major projects for the area including University, hospital for heart patients, Gilgit-Skardu road, Gilgit-Naltar road, Hydal power project, sewerage project for Gilgit, tourist resort at Attabad lake and Shigar road.
The Prime Minister directed the concerned federal authorities present on the occasion to process all these projects on priority and assured the Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan and members of Gilgit-Baltistan assembly that federal government will give due consideration to these projects and would extend full support in realising these projects.
Prime Minister in response to the demand of Chief Minister, Gilgit Baltistan to raise the ceiling of Gilgit-Baltistan government to approve the projects at their own level from Rs. 400 million to Rs. 1000 million, accorded approval to raise the ceiling up to Rs. 750 million.
Earlier, Chief Minister, Gilgit-Baltistan welcomed the Prime Minister and said that it is second visit of Prime Minister in Gilgit-Baltistan in three months. The Chief Minister said that these visits show the interest of the Prime Minister in development of Gilgit-Baltistan and his special focus on this area. The Chief Minister said that visit of the Prime Minister is an occasion of good news for the people as they know; this will contribute to the progress and prosperity of the area.
The Chief Minister informed the Prime Minister that this summer more than 600,000 tourists have visited Gilgit-Baltistan which shows upward economic activity in the region.
The ambassador of China Mr. Sun Weidong accompanied the Prime Minister to Gilgit and Attabad for inauguration of tunnels. The Prime Minister welcomed the Chinese ambassador to Gilgit-Baltistan and said that this area is significant part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
The Prime Minister further said that federal and Gilgit-Baltistan government are working hard on various development projects in the area to complement the economic activity, which will be generated by the opening of economic corridor.
The Prime Minister said that Economic Corridor on its completion will provide North-South and South-North connectivity. The Prime Minister said that Chinese products will reach Gwadar in shortest time and access to warm waters will ensure speedy and uninterrupted economic activity in the extended region.
The Prime Minister said that Gwadar port will be state of the art facility and to attract investment a modern and fully equipped airport is also being built at Gwadar
The Prime expressed his thanks to the Chinese government for extending support for materialization of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Later the Prime Minister visited Attabad Lake tunnels and inaugurated 7 Kilometres long tunnels which are named as ‘Pak-China Friendship’ tunnels
The Prime Minister travelled from tunnel no. 1 to tunnel no. 5 and terminated his travel at the last point of rebuilt 24 kilometres portion of Kara Koram Highway, where he was briefed by National Highway Authority about the details of the project.