Lahore : Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Friday said the nations around the world did show reverence to their leaders who served them but unfortunately in Pakistan, they were dragged in courts and had to face legal proceedings.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of 969 MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project here, the prime minister said the countries where there was no respect for the politicians as well as the politics, could not achieve progress.
The prime minister was accompanied by his cabinet members including Barjees Tahir, Engineer Khurram Dastgir, Syed Javed Shah, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Governor Punjab Muhammad Rafiq Rajwana, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra President AJK Sardar Masood Ahmed Khan, AJK PM Raja Farooq Haider and Chairman WAPDA besides representatives of foreign firms, participating in the project.
The project would generate 5.150 billion units of electricity annually and generate Rs 55 billion revenue which will eventually increase in subsequent years.
Completed at cost of around $5 billion, the power project comprises four units with generation capacity of 242.25 MW each.
The prime minister said in other countries where the leaders delivered, were given respect but unfortunately in Pakistan, instead of showing ovation, such leaders were dragged in the courts and had to face legal proceedings.
Referring to verdict for lifetime disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister said another verdict had been given earlier on the day that was unfortunate.
He said this practice needed to be abandoned as it must be the people who decide the fate of their leaders.
The prime minister said consequent to the untiring efforts, the government had successfully overcome the power shortfall by executing power project to add around 10,400 MW of electricity.
He said currently, only those areas were facing forced load shedding where power theft had been reported.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said NJHP was an example of Pak-China cooperation and congratulated the teams of WAPDA and other firms who had struggled to make the project a reality.
He said starting from the first day till its completion, the project had faced with numerous challenges like design change or cost overrun but the government’s commitment and workers’ efforts achieved it all.
He said the government had inherited the project as it was started in 2008 and till 2013, only 10 percent work was completed.
He said the project incurred a huge amount of $5 billion due to excessive delay, caused by 2010 floods and design change to enhance it seismic resistance after 2005 earthquake.
He said the previous governments even failed to generate 2,000 MW but this government generated power even more than that of last 65 years. He also mentioned the construction of highways and motorways of record stretch, across the country, particularly in Balochistan.
Referring the slogan of the project ‘Our need – Dam a decade’, the prime minister said the country rather needed two dams in this specific period, owing to its importance.
Apprising the gathering of his government’s diversification of energy production, the prime minister said in future no renewable energy project would be executed if it cost more than thermal project.
He said : “While celebrating the completion of historic project, we should not forget people, suffering at hands of Indian forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir.”
He said during his recent meeting with the UN Secretary General in China, the core subject was the woes of Kashmiri people and to seek Kashmir dispute solution in accordance with the UN Security Council’s resolutions.
Mentioning the murder of 17 people on April 4, the prime minister said Pakistan would continue its moral, diplomatic and political support to its Kashmiri brethren.
Speaking high of the project, President AJK Sardar Masood said China Pakistan Economic Corridor would bring in economic revolution in Pakistan and by joining the initiative, AJK would prove to be an asset for Pakistan, and not liability.
Prime Minister AJK Raja Farooq Haider said AJK needed around 250 MW and people of AJK must be given benefit of development projects in the territory.
He also drew prime minister Abbasi’s attention to the issues of water royalty, water distribution and jobs to local people.
WAPDA Chairman Lt. Gen. (Retd) Muzammil Hussain said Pakistan had successfully completed the project ahead of India’s Kishan Ganga project, despite the fact that the latter was two-year ahead of Pakistan’s project.
Earlier, the prime minister gave away souvenirs to representatives of various firms who had been part of the project.