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PM orders FIA to probe PML-N govt’s high-cost road projects

PM IMRAN KHAN

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday disclosed that he has ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe the high-cost road construction projects of the previous PML-N government.

Imran Khan said that he had given the mandate to the FIA to probe the exorbitant cost incurred on the road construction projects undertaken by the government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

Addressing the upgradation ceremony of Balochistan’s Jhaljao-Bela Road at an event held at the PM House in Islamabad, Imran Khan said investigation would reveal how a corrupt government looted the public exchequer by carrying out projects at a “much higher cost”.

He said the PML-N extorted Rs 1700 million per kilometre on construction of every four-lane road, the information about which was available on the websites.

He said that his government is saving Rs200 million in the process for which he commends the relevant minister.

The prime minister termed corruption the biggest problem of the country, where a handful of people in power misused the public money.

“A corrupt government through misappropriation of funds and theft of tax money always leads to the loss and damage of a nation,” he said, adding that the plundered money could have been used for further communication projects, particularly in Balochistan.

Stressing on an “equitable” national development, he said road connectivity in Balochistan was equally essential for the socio-economic prosperity of the country. “Unless Balochistan is made the stakeholder, the overall development of the country cannot be achieved,” he said.

“Linking Balochistan with a developed Centre will be beneficial for both the province and Pakistan”. Imran Khan said he was committed to ensure uplift of the areas of Balochistan which faced neglect over the past 70 years.

On apathy towards Balochistan, he held responsible the previous governments and also the politicians of the province, who ignored the overall development and focused merely on their constituencies in view of gaining electoral support.

“After completion of the government’s five-year tenure, I want our scorecard to have an outstanding highlight, i.e, carrying out an unprecedented phase of development in Balochistan to end its deprivation,” he said.

On this occasion, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan said that the federal and the coalition government had materialized numerous development projects for the benefit of people of Balochistan in three years.

He mentioned that Punjgur to Awaran and Jhal Jhao to Bela highway would prove as the “shortest trade link from the Iranian border to Karachi”.

He said the main artery road of Chaman-Quetta-Khuzdar would be a milestone of socio-economic development in future.

Federal Minister for Communication Murad Saeed said the focus on Balochistan’s development was in line with PM Imran Khan’s vision of uplifting the underprivileged sections of the country.

He mentioned that work on the highways of Balochistan was underway at full pace to connect the province with the rest of the country.

The 80-kilometre road in the Awaran district of Balochistan is a project of the provincial government to be completed by the National Highway Authority.

The two-lane road project is said to finish within three years starting now. It comes at a cost of over Rs11 billion.Upon completion, it is intended to augment the socio-economic state of the region.

The communication ministry overseeing the project and industrial, trade, agriculture, tourism, cultural activities in the province will see a surge after the completion.

This will also generate three thousand job opportunities for the local people, the ministry said.Jhal Jaho Bela road is considered to be of immense importance to further the trade prospects with Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asian States.

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