KARACHI/QUETTA - On his first visit to the City of Quaid after assuming premiership, Nawaz Sharif formally announced building a six-lane motorway from the economic hub to the capital of most populous province of the country.

An MoU’s pertaining to the billion dollar Karachi-Lahore motorway was signed with China during the prime minister’s visit to the neighbouring country last month.

Talking to the media at Mazar Qauid Azam after laying a wreath and offering fateha on Thursday, Nawaz stated that Gadani power project in Balochistan would be completed soon, adding that China had also confirmed four projects in Gadani.

The PM said an economic corridor from Gwadar to the Pak-China border has also been planned. The economic corridor plan including new roads, highways and railway tracks would benefit all the provinces, including Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he added.

The prime minister said the federal government was fully cognizant to the situation in Karachi but said a concrete policy on law and order for the whole county would require time to formulate. Time is also required to raise counter-terrorism force and to bring reform in general policing, he said.

“I have asked the provinces to start working at provincial level, constitute committees to bring reforms for effective and comprehensive security system which will help formulate a concrete security policy at the central level,” he remarked.

The prime minister arrived in Karachi on short visit, along with Information Minister Parvez Rasheed, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other PML-N leaders, to deal with a range of issues including internal party matters and the city’s law and order situation. Nawaz recalled the days when he was brought to Karachi in an armoured vehicle, saying that now he was there to pay homage to the father of the nation.

The PM said that democratic process has strengthened in Pakistan and their government respect the mandate of all the parties. He pointed out that on his left stood Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who is from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and on the right was Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, who is from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

“Both of them are very dear to me and we respect their mandate... We can only move forward together,” he went on to say. He said that change comes through elections and ballot and not through protest, rallies and public meetings. It was a happy augury that Pakistan is following democratic path despite terrorism and ebbing situation of law and order.

Responding to question about the resignation of Chief Election Commissioner, Nawaz said that Fakhruddin G Ebrahim has performed his duties with dedication and now that he deemed appropriate time for resignation. He maintained that election of the president was held in a democratic manner.

Responding to question about the meeting with the US Secretary of State John Kerry, Prime Minister Nawaz said that our talks were positive and he hoped that a positive result would come to the fore. He said that “we have adopted a principled stand” on the bilateral security and other issues.

When asked about the state of ties with India, the prime minister said that “we want to initiate the process from the Lahore Declaration in the 1990s”. He said, “We will promote trade, investment and business. We will also endeavour to resolve the long-standing issues with the neighbouring country including that of Kashmir.”

“I see the future of Pakistan as very bright and prosperous”, he remarked adding that the problems would be resolved through commitment, patience and hard work and one day we will reach our destination. The prime minister said that the new government had started working on the new energy policy soon after taking office. The total energy shortfall had come down to 3,000 megawatts.

He said that the government was not to only trying to bridge the gap between supply and demand, but was trying to surpass demand. The country should be thinking about the next 25 years, instead of the next 5 years, he said.

PM Nawaz latter visited the site of Gadani Energy Corridor Project in Lasbela district of Balochistan. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, federal ministers and other officials were also present on the occasion.

Talking to media on the occasion, the prime minister said that Gandi would become an energy and industrial hub of Pakistan. He said that China had agreed to set up four coal-fired power plants at Gadani. He said the government of Pakistan would establish the first plant at the park to attract local and foreign investors.

The park envisages establishment of eight coal fired power plants with aggregate capacity of 5,200 MW but the Prime Minister desired that its capacity should be enhanced to ten plants generating 6600 MW. He also gave instructions for expeditious implementation of different phases of the project as the country cannot afford to lose any time in view of the grave energy crisis.

“Grid stations would be installed and initially 10 industries would be set up which would change the picture of entire area,” he added. He said that we wanted to implement Gadani project immediately since it was big project. “Gadni Project is an important project in the history of the country... Through this project the people of Sindh and Balochistan would get jobs.” He said that the construction of jetty would cost Rs50 to 60 billion where industries would be set up rapidly. He said that through this project they were attracting investors to invest in Balochistan.