ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday announced the establishment of a fully-fledged university in Chitral, besides a 25-bed hospital, saying more institutes of higher learning would follow.
He was addressing a public gathering at the polo ground of Chitral. The prime minister announced setting up of a 250-bed hospital in Chitral under the prime minister’s national health programme. He also announced Rs200 million for the district government of Chitral which he said should be spent on the welfare of the people of the valley.
The prime minister said the Lowari tunnel would be completed by June 2017. He directed the NHA chairman to complete the feasibility reports of the Chitral-Booni-Shandur road, Chitral-Garam Chashma and Chitral Kalash valley road projects by Dec 2016 and start work on them.
He said he had special regard and love for the people of Chitral and would be working for their progress and development in complete disregard to political affiliations. He said in the past successive governments ignored Chitral, which would now be compensated. He said he would be coming back to Chitral in June 2017 to open the Lowari tunnel.
He said during the last three years, his government provided Rs10 billion for the tunnel and would spend Rs10 billion more till the next year. He said besides the roads inside Chitral, Rs17 billion were also being spent on the Chakdara to Chitral road which would become the Chitral motorway.
He said 130 KV transmission line would be laid from Golen Gol to Chitral town and at least 100 villages in Chitral would get electricity from the powerhouse. He also directed the departments concerned to complete the 108 megawatt Golen Gol project on a priority basis which would also provide electricity to the whole region.
Nawaz Sharif said when he became prime minister APML MNA Iftikhar Uddin came to him and said he was basically a Muslim Leaguer and wants to resign from the seat and contest by-elections on the PML-N ticket again. “But I told him not to take such a a risk and keep on working for the people of your area and I will be supporting you.” Addressing the gathering, Mr Sharif said ask your MNA if I have not been supporting him for the progress of the area.
The prime minister said he had no ill will for anyone but regretted that in the past people took votes in the name of the Lowari tunnel but could not complete it even after 50 years though it should have been ready in three years.
During his speech, Nawaz Sharif again tried to have fun of the people of Chitral and said he was happy that the people of Chitral have started understanding the Urdu language As a prime minister when I came here in the 90s, people here did not know Urdu, he said. He asked the crowd to raise hands how many of you know Urdu. Then he asked those to raise hands who only understand Chitrali (Khowar) language. He then said the people of Chitral are very competent and know Urdu, English and are not behind the people of Karachi, Lahore and Quetta in terms of education.
PML-N leader Amir Muqam, MNA Shahzada Iftikhar Uddin and district nazim Maghfirat Shah thanked the prime minister for visiting Chitral thrice in about a year.
وزیراعظم کا جلسہ چترال دیکھ رہاہوں یہ وه جگہ جہاں پہ مشرف نےاپناپِسٹل امیرمقام کو گفٹ کیا تھا"تمہیں یاد ہو کہ نہ یاد ہو ہمیں یاد ہے زرا زرا"
— Ajmal Khan Wazir (@ajmalkwazir) September 7, 2016
The MNA said Chitral was the only district in KP which was provided Rs6 billion funds by the federal government during a year. He said change had actually been initiated by the PML-N from Chitral. He said billions of rupees were being spent on different projects in Chitral including the Lowari tunnel and the Chitral-Shandur, Garam Chashma and Bumburate roads. He also reminded the PM about his announcement to waive agricultural loans of the people of Chitral but Mr Sharif did not mention the loans in his speech.
The prime minister was later briefed on the Lowari tunnel project by NHA chairman Javed Ashraf Tarar. He said the 8.5 km tunnel would be the longest in the country. He said four new bridges and roads on the southern and northern portals of the tunnel were also being constructed.