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GILGIT: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Thursday said his government was committed to the progress and development of Gilgit Baltistan and would ensure provision of all resources to bring it at par with the developed areas of the country.

He was addressing an event after administering oath of office to six members of the Gilgit Baltistan Council, who are elected by the GB Legislative Assembly. The Prime Minister in his capacity as Chairman Gilgit Baltistan Council administered the oath.

The six new members who joined the 12-member Council included Syed Afzal, Sultan Ali Khan, Ashraf Sada, Syed Abbas Rizvi, Arman

Shah and Wazir ikhlaq Hussain.

As the crowd raised slogans of “qadam barhao Nawaz Sharif hum tumharey sath hain” (Move ahead Nawaz Sharif, we are with you), the Prime Minister said a feasibility of hydel project at Attabad was being completed and once operational it would generate 27 MW electricity and provide power to numerous adjacent towns and villages.

The Prime Minister also directed that there should be no further delay in payment of compensation to the affected people of tunnels, roads and dams.

The Prime Minister announced Rs 200 million for Karakoram International University as he desires the students to study hard and to make it an exemplary institute.

The Prime Minister said he has a special attraction to Gilgit Baltistan that brings him here frequently and desires development of the area. He said he was duty bound to visit the area to serve the people and play his role in resolving the problems of the people.

The Prime Minister said the amount allocated for the Annual Development Program for the area was inadequate to meet the development requirements. He said the issues confronting the people were enormous and needed concerted efforts.

He termed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a “game- changer” and said it was moving ahead at a fast pace and not only envisages road, rail and communication networks, but would also provide power generation projects, generate employment and strengthen bonds of the people across the country. He was optimist that loadshedding would end by year 2018.

Prime Minister Sharif said people say that he was concentrating only on roads, but “come and see here, how the road networks have opened up these areas and schools and hospitals were being built at remotest areas.”

He recalled a similar criticism when he launched the Lahore- Islamabad motorway and said those critical were the most frequent users.

He said road linkages would help bring the agricultural products of the area to the rest of the country. He said international standard airports would be built in Gilgit Baltistan.

Sharif said work on Dasu Dam was about to start, while an amount of Rs 70 billion has already been allocated for the Diamir Bhasha dam. He was appreciative that around Rs 12 billion has been saved from the project cost and appreciated the Chief Minister and local administration for their hard work and saving of the government funds.

Prime Minister Sharif said the quality of Karakoram Highway from Khunjerab to Raikot was of very good quality and hoped that work on other sections would complete soon, and bring all regions of the country closer.

He mentioned that those responsible for the gruesome killing of the Chinese tourist at Nangaparbat have been taken to task and awarded the death sentence.

Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman lauded the federal government for its support to the area and said the PML- N has approved projects worth Rs billions to bring the region at par with the rest of the country.

He said the people of Gilgit Baltistan were with the Prime Minister and would foil the attempts of those “conspirators” who were trying to sabotage the country’s march towards progress and prosperity.(App)

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