Time wasted in past four years gives me goosebumps, says PM Shehbaz

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that he gets goosebumps during presentations on development during his term in office thus far when he realises how much time was wasted in the past four years, referring to the regime of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The premier was delivering a speech after his review of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam and its construction, where he was briefed by Chairperson WAPDA Lt Gen (retd) Muzzamil Hussain on the project.

PM Shehbaz stated that as a Khadim-e-Pakistan, he would not lie before the nation or twist the truth, but facts should come forward.

During his speech, Shehbaz maintained that he will refrain from political matters, as there will be other opportunities to reveal the truth before the nation.

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The prime minister was “happy” to state that the Diamer-Bhasha Dam project was launched by former premier Nawaz Sharif under the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in 2016, and that PML-N leader Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi added on to the project in a “wonderful way” during his premiership.

PM Shehbaz expressed faith in Gen Muzzamil and claimed that he was “sure” that those working on the project will “keep up” their efforts.

Shehbaz also stated that he was “satisfied” with the funds raised from the international markets and Eurobonds for the construction of the dam, however, he emphasised the need to think of the powerhouse where 60-70,000 watts of electricity will be generated by the dam.

“The powerhouse carries more profit, so I would suggest encouraging international investors to join,” he said and appreciated the ongoing joint efforts of Chinese companies and the Frontiers Work Organisation.

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The premier highlighted the benefits of the dam, including economic prosperity, land irrigation, control of sedimentation and flash floods.

He hoped that the projected date for the completion of construction will be decreased by two to three years and that the dam will be completed by 2026/7 instead of 2029.

“Nothing is impossible, provided we get our act together”.

Addressing the crowd in Urdu, after he finished his speech in English for the “foreigners”, PM Shehbaz said that the construction of the dam will be a milestone for Pakistan.

“125-30 million acre-feet of water passes by this dam, but we can only save 25-30 million acre-feet, which is unfair for our people,” he said, adding that everyone must learn from the mistakes of the past and not let this “gift” of nature go to waste.

Lastly, he told Gen Muzzamil to construct a hospital in the region, as that was missing, and people had to make do with a small dispensary or travel for medical care.

The prime minister was accompanied by members of the National Assembly Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Asif and PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb.

PM Shehbaz is also set to take an aerial review of Karakorum Highway, the 3MW Thuk power project and Chilas cadet college.


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