Life imprisonment for Yasin Malik to provide fresh impetus to Kashmiris’ freedom struggle: PM

Karot Hydro Power Project to provide cheap electricity: PM

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif says India can imprison Yasin Malik physically but it can never imprison the idea of freedom that he symbolises.

In a tweet today, the Prime Minister said today (Wednesday) is a black day for Indian democracy and its justice system.

He said life imprisonment for valiant freedom fighter will provide fresh impetus to Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. Furthermore, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif says the 720 MW Karot Hydro Power Project will add environment-friendly and cheap electricity in the national grid.

He was talking to Chinese media and workers of Karot Hydro Power Project during his visit to the site of the project on Wednesday. The Prime Minister said the foundations of the project were laid back in 2015 and it is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, which lies at the junction of Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Expressing his gratitude to the Chinese company for this project, Shehbaz Sharif said this project will not only provide clean and cheap energy that has no environmental hazards, but will also help us save four billion rupees

He said that that project will help us in moving forward to strengthening Pakistan-China friendship. Adding to this, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday urged the Chief Minister Khyber Pukhtunkhwa to pay attention to the law-and-order situation in the province.

The prime minister expressed sorrow over the death of KP Police Sub-Inspector Sehar Gul and said the rising attacks on police personnel in the province were worrisome.

He expressed heartfelt sympathies to the family and children of the martyred police officer and emphasized giving assistance package to the heirs, including for the education of children.

PM Sharif directed Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Adviser Engineer Amir Muqam to ensure financial support for the martyred police personnel.

He also prayed for the departed soul of the martyred police officer and for the patience of his family to bear the loss. Adding to this, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday urged the people to reject the politics of sit-ins and immorality which had inflicted huge economic loss to the national economy in the past as well.

The prime minister, addressing the engineers and workers at the under-construction Karot Hydropower project here, said the memories of the 2014-sit (by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) still haunted which had caused the postponement of the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“A sit-in is being planned again… We should not divide the nation through sit-in… What message you are giving through the sit-in,” the prime minister questioned the PTI leadership which was on its way to Islamabad for a sit-in in the federal capital.

Without naming the PTI, he said the political party had been requested to suspend their sit-in for three days but they were adamant not changing their mind.

He said that had the visit of the Chinese president taken place in 2014, the Karot power project a part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor- would have been completed a year ago to contribute 720 megawatts to the national grid.

He said the government was trying to rectify the bad economy and inflation inherited from the previous government. By reducing the oil prices, the previous government had left a “landmine” for his government, he added.

The prime minister, who reviewed the progress on the project, said the project faced some delays due to COVID and other related issues.

He said the previous prime minister had enough time to drag the opposition to a tight corner and create division in the society but could not find some time to visit the gigantic project, and control inflation, poverty, and unemployment.

He said after coming into power through a constitutional process, the incumbent government was striving to take measures for controlling inflation and stabilize the economy.

He said during his interaction, the Chinese engineers assured him of early completion for which he thanked the Chinese and Pakistani workers, departments and ministries concerned for taking utmost interest to complete the project.

He also thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping, PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif and the Chairman of Three Gorges Company which was executing the project.

The prime minister said being a hydropower project, the electricity price would reduce to even Rs3 per unit gradually, after the retirement of the debt. He also thanked the Three Gorges Company head for agreeing to supply free-of-charge electricity to the national grid till the finalization of Commercial Operation Dates to save Rs4 billion to the national kitty, which was unprecedented and a gesture of strong China-Pakistan friendship.

“This is the China-Pakistan friendship and iron brotherhood…This is the passion to serve that everyone should have … The only solution is the work hard and learn from the past mistakes and reject the sit-ins to achieve the lost grandeur,” he remarked.

The prime minister called for emulating the Chinese model of development. He said both the Punjab and Azad Kashmir governments would get Rs1.2 billion as water use charge who would be spending Rs120 million annually for the next 30 years for the uplift of the Karot area as the locals had sacrificed their properties for the project.

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