PM lays foundation stone of CPEC’s western route

ZHOB: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif  laid the foundation stone of the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — Zhob-Mughal Kot (N-50) and Qila Saifullah-Wagum (N-70) highways — here on Wednesday.

The 81-kilometre-long Zhob-Mughal Kot highway is expected to be completed at a cost of Rs8.8 billion and the 126-km Qila Saifullah-Wagum highway at a cost of Rs7.5bn by 2018.

The prime minister said on the occasion that the 2,458-km-long western route of the CPEC starting from Zhob would connect Gwadar, Quetta, Sorab and Hoshab.

“I will come back to Balochistan soon to inaugurate the Gwadar-Hoshab highway,” he said.

Mr Sharif said the 454-km-long Gwadar-Panjgur highway would be completed by December next year.

He praised the Frontier Works Organisation for timely completing several highway and road projects in the province.

He said the 243-km-long Khuzdar-Wango Hill-Shehdadkot highway would be completed by May next year.

“The federal government has spent Rs200bn on different highway projects in Balochistan,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Sharif was accorded a warm welcome by Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai, Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri, Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattha and other officials when he reached the Zhob airport.

The prime minister was accompanied by senior political leaders, including JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, National Party president Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Awami National Party leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Pakistan Muslim League-Q leader Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security retired Lt Gen Mohammad Nasser Janjua.